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' RAM 







GENERAL SAMUEL W. PRICE. 

Photographed from life. 



Oi 



RS 







FILSON CLUB-PUBLICATIONS NO. 17 



THE 



OLD MASTERS 



OF THE BLUEGRASS 



JOUETT, BUSH, GRIMES, FRAZER, MORGAN, HART 



GENERAL SAMUEL WOODSON PRICE 

Member of The Filson Club 

Illustrated 




t-af-'A'l 



LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY 

JOHN P. MORTON & COMPANY 

't'rintrrs t0 the Filson ffilnb 

1902 



COPYRIGHTED BY 

THE FILSON CLUB 

1902 



n 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

PREFACE (GENERAL SAMUEL W. PRICE), v 

MATTHEW HARRIS JOUETT, i 

CATALOGUE OF THE JOUETT PAINTINGS 51 

JOSEPH H. BUSH, 69 

JOHN GRIMES, 85 

OLIVER FRAZER, 93 

Louis MORGAN, J25 

JOEL T. HART, H5 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PACK 

LIKENESS OF GENERAL SAMUEL W. PRICE, Frontispiece 

"KiNG SOLOMON," BY PRICE, 

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTSON, BY PRICE, 

PORTRAIT OF MATTHEW H. JOUETT, BY HIMSELF, 7 

JOUETT'S WIFE AND CHILD, BY HIMSELF, 

PORTRAIT OF JOHN GRIMES, BY JOUETT, 3 2 

PORTRAIT OF JOSEPH H. BUSH, BY HIMSELF, 7 1 

MRS. ANSELEM BUCHANAN, BY BUSH, 75 

BOY ON HOBBY-HORSE, BY BUSH 8o 

< COUNTRY BOY," BY JOHN GRIMES, 9 1 

PORTRAIT OF A LADY, BY GRIMES, 87 

LIKENESS OF OLIVER FRAZER, 95 

FRAZER'S WIFE AND CHILDREN, BY HIMSELF, 104 

MATTHEW T. SCOTT, BY FRAZER nz 

SIMON KENTON, BY Louis MORGAN 127 

REVEREND W. L. BRECKINRIDGE, BY MORGAN, 136 

LIKENESS OF JOEL T. HART, H9 

STATUE OF HENRY CLAY, BY HART, 155 

'WOMAN TRIUMPHANT," BY HART, 163 



PREFACE 

THE seventeenth publication of The Filson Club is 
a kind of miscellany, consisting of biographical 
sketches of six of Kentucky's most eminent artists. 
Five of the artists sketched are painters, and the sixth 
a sculptor. They are Matthew H. Jouett, Joseph H. 
Bush, John Grimes, Oliver Frazer, Louis Morgan, and 
Joel T. Hart. 

General Samuel W. Price, the author of these sketches, 
is himself a distinguished artist, and it seems that if his 
book must have a preface, a biographical sketch of him 
would be the most appropriate thing in that line. If 
his book is to be taken as a presentation of Kentucky's 
most distinguished artists, it would not be complete 
without General Price,- and therefore a biographical 
sketch of him will here be given as a preface, to round out 
his work and bring it that much nearer to completeness. 

Samuel W. Price was born in Nicholasville, Ken- 
tucky, on the fifth of August, 1828. He was the fourth 
and last son of Daniel Branch Price and Eliza Crocket 
Price, a daughter of Colonel Joseph Crocket. His paternal 



VI 



Preface 



and maternal ancestors were distinguished for both 
military and civil service in this country, and long 
before they came to America the Prices looked back 
with pride for three or more centuries to their origin 
in Wales, while the Crockets were equally proud of 
tracing their descent from French gentlemen and ladies 
of the age of Louis XIV. Before the beginning of the 
eighteenth century both families had settled in America, 
where, on the battlefield and in the forum, on the farm 
and in the office, in public and in private life, different 
members have helped in the grand progress of their 
adopted country. 

General Price was educated in the Nicholasville 
Academy until he was old enough and advanced enough 
to be sent to college. He then entered the Kentucky 
Military Institute, in 1846, at the age of eighteen. In 
a short time he was appointed professor of drawing, with 
the rank of lieutenant. As he had paid more attention 
to drawing in the Nicholasville Academy than he had 
to his lessons, so in the Military Institute he paid more 
attention to drawing than to his military exercises. This 
he continued until a public parade showed his deficiency 
in military evolutions. He then went to work and 
studied the military part of his education until he 
mastered it. The knowledge thus acquired was a great 



Preface vii 

benefit to him in the Civil War when he was commanding 
troops upon the battlefield. 

While he was in the Nicholasville Academy and in 
the Kentucky Military Institute he was thinking of some- 
thing not in the text - books and that was not taught 
by the teachers or the professors. His mind was inter- 
ested in transferring the forms and faces of human 
beings to paper or to any smooth surface he could 
command. He could think of this kind of work and 
never weary of doing it, and he was so constituted that 
he could not help thinking about it and wanting to do 
it. He was like a delicate colorist in a sign-painter's 
shop, or a sculptor in a stone - mason's yard. What he 
needed was a school of design, but he did not know it 
himself, and neither was it known to his father, who 
sent him to these schools. The same mistake is made 
in a majority of our children. If we but knew what 
they are fitted for, and would then direct their educa- 
tion to developing their natural faculties instead of trying 
to create new ones, our education of them would be far 
more advantageous. The misfortune is that we do not 
learn what our children are really fitted for until they 
grow up and develop their natural endowments. 

At a very early age General Price showed a remark- 
able talent for drawing. His first efforts were in drawing 



viii Preface 

the capital letters while he was learning the alphabet. 
During his first school days he spent his Saturdays and 
other holidays in sketching various things that attracted 
his attention. Not only would he thus be employed 
when out of school, but during school hours instead of 
working sums he would be sketching the faces of his 
companions, very much to the annoyance of the teacher. 
On one occasion he sketched one of his companions 
fast asleep on all fours, and his teacher seeing him thus 
employed slipped up behind him to give him a whip- 
ping, but before the switch came down he cast his eye 
on the sketch and laughed at it instead of punishing 
the draftsman. At the age of ten he was in the court- 
house at Nicholasville to hear the Honorable Thomas 
F. Marshall speak in an important trial. A prominent 
farmer was there for the same purpose, and presented 
such a comical appearance that the youthful artist was 
asked by the sheriff to sketch him. He did so, and 
handed the sketch to the sheriff, who as soon as he saw 
it burst out in a big laugh. The sheriff then handed 
it to the judge, who laughed heartily and handed it to 
a member of the ^bar, who passed it around. All laughed 
heartily, and finally one of them showed it to the old 
farmer who had been sketched. He looked at it for 
a moment and exclaimed, < ' Why, that 's me ! " 



Preface ix 

The reputation of the boy artist was now well estab- 
lished, and he was employed by different members \ of 
the bar who had seen his sketch of the old farmer to 
make sketches of them. He had not yet, however, 
gotten beyond the pencil and charcoal in making his 
sketches, and of course only used black and white. 
Good luck, however, soon came to him. When he 
had reached his fourteenth year an itinerant artist 
came along and was found dead on the roadside near 
Nicholasville. No one knew who he was nor whence 
he came. He left a lot of paints and brushes, and they 
were sold at auction. A friend of the boy artist bought 
the lot for him. He was now prepared to give his 
lead pencil and charcoal a rest and to paint in colors. 
He was tendered a room in the Nicholasville Hotel for 
a studio, and began work like a real artist. 

His first effort in oil was a flag ordered by the 
ladies of Nicholasville, to be presented to Captain 
Harvey's company just returned from the Mexican War. 
The design was an eagle hovering over a lone star. 
The eagle being on the United States' flag and the 
lone star on that of Texas, the design might be easily 
interpreted to mean that if the eagle got the star the 
United States would get Texas. Both the design and 
the execution of the work were much admired, and the 



x Preface 

young artist was justly proud of his first attempt in oil. 
He had now taken the first step toward portraiture, 
and all he had to do was to study and learn the value 
of colors as well as the art of putting them on canvas. 
As he was lucky in securing a lot of paints when least 
expected, so he was again lucky in finding an artist 
who taught him the color value of the different pigments 
and the art of combining them so as to produce the 
desired effect This was William Reading, of Louis- 
ville, who had come to Nicholasville to paint some 
portraits. 

In 1847, when he was nineteen years of age, he began 
the study of art in earnest under Oliver Frazer, at 
Lexington, Kentucky. Mr. Frazer accepted him as a 
pupil only after carefully examining his present work in 
drawing. After satisfying himself that there was, as he 
expressed it, "something in the young man," he took 
him into his studio. Young Price rented an office 
near his preceptor and began to take lessons in por- 
traiture. 

His first effort in color was the portrait of Major 
Harvey, an old gentleman who sat for him after being 
solicited so to do. When the portrait was finished it 
was satisfactory to the subject and to his preceptor. 
When this portrait was seen by Mr. George Jouett he 










voun 







"KING SOLOMON." 

Painted by Genera) Samuel W, Price, 



Preface xi 

advised young Price to try his skill on a man in 
Lexington known as ' ' King Solomon. " No person in 
Lexington was better known than this old man. He 
had led a life of drunkenness and idleness and worth- 
lessness until everybody knew him. All at once, 
however, when the cholera of 1833 broke out in Lex- 
ington and every one who could get out of town went, 
and those who were left were either dying or burying 
the dead, ' ' King Solomon " seemed at once to be 
transformed from absolute worthlessness into supreme 
usefulness. He laid out the dead, dug their graves, 
and buried them when there was no one else to per- 
form these services. He became a hero at once, and 
the thousand tongues that had been wont to pronounce 
his name with scorn now sounded his praise in unmeasured 
tones. 

' ' King Solomon " was averse to having his portrait 
painted, but, on being urged, consented on condition 
that he was to have plenty of grog and cigars while 
sitting. The portrait was finished and pronounced well 
done by his preceptor and by his fellow - artists, Bush 
and Morgan. So soon as it was known in Lexington 
that Price had painted ' ' King Solomon's" picture numer- 
ous persons called at the studio to see it. General 
Price had to place it in the office of the Phoenix Hotel, 



xii Preface 

where the people could see it without overwhelming 
him in his studio. 

General Price had now made fame enough with his 
brush to secure subjects without soliciting them ; they 
came to him instead of his going to them. He soon 
had all he could do, and more too. He painted a 
portrait of Joseph Ficklin, the postmaster of Lexington, 
which added no little to his reputation. Then followed 
a portrait of a strong - featured minister of the gospel 
named Creath, which still added to his fame. He was 
then employed by Samuel D. McCullough to paint a 
picture from a Bible story, to be called ' ' The Good 
Samaritan," for the Masonic lodge of Lexington. It 
was finished and pronounced a fine figure -com position 
painting. His local reputation as an artist was now well 
established, but he wanted something more. In 1849 
he went to New York to improve himself by studying 
the great works of the great artists gathered there. 
After seeing and studying in New York as long as he 
felt he could afford to stay, he returned to Lexington 
the same year and reopened his studio with renewed 
hopes and brighter promises. He raised the price of 
his portraits to fifty dollars, and the first important 
work was painting the portraits of Reverend J. J. Bullock 
and his family. These portraits were satisfactory to 
the family and well received by the public. 












himse! 
artist 

Aftr 

felt 

the sa 
hopes ii 
his pci : 
work was 
and his 
the far 




CHIEF JUSTICE GEORGE ROBERTSON. 



Painted by General Samuel W. Price. 



Preface xiii 

In 1851 he went to Louisville and painted the por- 
trait of A. L. Shotwell, a well-known citizen. It was 
a fine picture and greatly admired. It was so well 
received that he determined to open a studio in Louis- 
ville. After painting a number of pictures there he 
made visits to Nashville and Clarksville, Tennessee, to 
fill important orders. In 1856 he went to New York 
and painted a three-fourths portrait of Millard Fillmore 
for the Fillmore and Donaldson Club of Clarksville. In 
1857 he went to Hopkinsville and painted a likeness of 
Colonel James S. Jackson. All of these paintings were 
eminently satisfactory and led to orders for many more. 

In 1859 he returned to Lexington and resumed his 
painting there. Orders soon began to come for por- 
traits, and among those he painted was a noble like- 
ness of Chief Justice Robertson. While in the midst 
of his prosperity the Civil War came upon him, and 
he laid down his brush and took up his sword in behalf 
of the Union. 

When the Civil War began General Price was Captain 
of a company of infantry in Lexington known as the 
"Old Infantry." He was instrumental in inducing most 
of the members of this company to enlist in the Federal 
cause. Doctor Ethelbert Dudley was authorized to form 
a regiment, of which General Price was to be Major. 



XIV 



Preface 



He failed, however, to complete his regiment in time, 
and had to consolidate with another fractional regiment. 
In this consolidation a Major had to be provided from 
the other fractional regiment, and General Price lost 
the place. In a short time, however, Colonel Dudley 
died, and General Price was commissioned Colonel in 
his place. His regiment was the Twenty -first Ken- 
tucky Infantry, which did its share of service during 
the Civil War. General Price commanded it at Stone 
River, at Chickamauga, and at all other points where 
it had fighting or skirmishing or any thing else to do, 
until he received what was deemed a mortal wound in 
the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, in 1864. A minnie- 
ball struck him in the breast, just above the heart, 
and penetrated the cavity, and although he recovered 
after being long disabled, it unfitted him for further 
duty in the field. 

While in the army he could not paint pictures, and 
the three years from 1861 to 1864 were a blank upon 
his canvas. Neither could he use the brush while he 
was Post Commandant at Lexington parts of the years 
1864 and 1865. He was Postmaster at Lexington from 
1869 to 1876, and during his leisure moments in this 
office he resumed his brush. Here he adopted a style 
of painting which differed from what he had been doing 



Preface xv 

before. He undertook what is known as figure com- 
position. A series of paintings came from his brush 
which showed that he was at home in figure compo- 
sition, as he had been in portraiture. The following are 
well-known examples of his work in this line: "Caught 
Napping," "Not Worth Mending," "Gone Up," "Left 
in the Lurch," "Civil Rights," and "Night After Chick- 
amauga." "Caught Napping" and "Gone Up" were 
awarded a medal at the Cincinnati Exposition, where 
his ' ' King Solomon " and ' ' General Thomas " were also 
honored. 

His portrait of General Thomas, which is one of the 
greatest of his works, was painted from life, and rep- 
resents the old hero in his tent at night after the Battle 
of Chickamauga. It is a grand picture, and almost speaks 
out what the General was thinking about in that dark 
hour. His portraits of Generals Rosecrans and Sherman 
were painted from one sitting of each of the subjects. 
General Sherman much regretted not being able to give 
him more time, and so wrote to General Price. 

In 1878 General Price moved to Louisville, where he 
now resides, and opened a studio with the intention of 
devoting his time to portraiture. The first portrait he 
painted was that of General Eli H. Murray, a fine 
subject, and of whom a fine likeness was made. It was 



XVI 



Preface 



exhibited in the National Academy of Design, in New 
York, where it was pronounced one of the best pictures 
in that celebrated collection of the gems of art. 

He painted a number of other portraits in Louis- 
ville, and always gave satisfaction. But his success was 
destined to be cut short by an unexpected affliction. 
In the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain he had received a 
wound which was then supposed to be mortal. But he 
seemingly recovered from it, with the loss only of some 
strength and physical endurance. The minnie-ball, which 
had penetrated the cavity of his breast and taken a 
part of his clothing with it, did some secret work within 
which was to develop serious disaster in the future. 
Now, after he thought he was comparatively well, he 
began to notice a dimness of his eyes not caused by 
age, and which no kind of glasses would remedy. The 
impediment of sight increased until one day, when he 
was painting the portrait of Mrs. Bamberger, his fading 
vision was blotted out forever. The bright colors on 
his canvas were no longer visible, and his brush and 
easel were useless instruments. He was carried to his 
home to sit in endless darkness, while forms of beauty 
moved unseen before him. But he uttered no com- 
plaints, and bore his heavy affliction with the fortitude 
of a Christian and a soldier. 



Preface xvii 

The six biographic sketches which make up the book 
now under consideration were dictated by him, and the 
authorities used read to him without his seeing a word 
of either. When the sketches were finished they were 
read to The Filson Club either by his daughter or by 
another member of the Club, and they here appear in 
this book as thus begun and completed. In thus groping 
his way through eternal darkness to rescue his fellow- 
artists from oblivion, the blind soldier - artist emphasized 
his right to a place among the rescued, and there seems 
to be no more fitting way to put him in this well - 
deserved position than to insert a biographical sketch 
of him in the preface to his work. 

R. T. DURRETT, 
President of The Filson Club. 



MATTHEW HARRIS JOUETT 



INTRODUCTION 



AS Fine Art is the capstone to civilization, it is 
/~\ strange that the demand for portraiture, by the 
early settlers of Central Kentucky, should have 
been manifest before the pioneer's ax had made much 
of an impression on the dense forest, or the block -house 
had ceased to be a refuge from the merciless tomahawk 
of the red man, and while the bear, panther, and wild- 
cat still sought refuge from the unerring bullet of the 
pioneer in the dismal forest. 

The desire of the pioneers to be reproduced on a 
flat surface, whether from vanity or not, was natural 
then as now, and for its gratification they would then 
as now make personal sacrifices. As Daguerre's won- 
derful invention of a sun picture was reserved for future 
generations, they had to depend upon the skill of the 
brush, though crude and inartistic. It was not until 
the genius of Jouett, Bush, and Grimes was recognized 
by the early inhabitants of Lexington that they were 
made to realize that a portrait, to be "a thing of 



4 Introduction 

beauty and a joy forever," must not only have resem- 
blance but artistic execution. 

William West, who came to Lexington in 1788, was 
the first painter who ever settled in the vast region 
' ' this side the mountains. " He was the son of the 
Rector of Saint Paul's Church, Baltimore, and had 
studied under the celebrated Benjamin West in London. 
He was of a talented family. His brother, Edward 
West, who had preceded him to Lexington three years 
before, was the wonderful mechanical genius who 
invented the steamboat in that city in 1793, and his 
son, William E. West, is now remembered for the 
portrait he painted of Lord Byron at Leghorn. William 
painted but few pictures, and they were only of mod- 
erate merit. He is best known as the first painter who 
came to the West. He died in New York. 

Asa Park, a Virginian, was the second painter who 
located in Lexington. He was an intimate friend of 
William West, in whose family he lived greatly beloved 
for years. He died in the year 1827, and was buried 
by the West family in their lot near the corner of 
Hill and Mill streets, opposite the present Letcher 
property. 

Though Mr. Park attempted portraits, his best pro- 
ductions were fruit and flower pieces. His pictures, 



Introduction 5 

like West's, owe their value mainly to the fact of his 
having been one of the pioneer painters of Lexington. 
One of the very few of Park's productions is in the 
possession of Mrs. Ranck. It is an oil portrait of her 
grandfather, Lewis Ellis. 

Mr. Beck, erroneously mentioned in Dunlap's Arts 
of Design as the first painter who penetrated beyond 
the Alleghanies, came to Lexington about the year 
1800. He belonged at one time to a company of scouts 
under General Anthony Wayne. He and his wife con- 
ducted a female seminary in Lexington for many years 
in which painting was a prominent feature. Mr. and 
Mrs. Beck were both artists of some ability, and painted 
many pictures, principally landscapes. W. Mantelle, S. 
D. McCullough, John Tilford, Mrs. Thomas Clay, and 
many others own portraits by Beck. Mr. Beck died 
in 1814. His wife survived until 1833. 




MATTHEW HARRIS JOUETT. 



From a portrait painted by himself. 



MATTHEW HARRIS JOUETT' 

THE average reader cares but little for genealogy, 
the immediate interest being centered on the sub- 
ject of the sketch rather than on his ancestry. 
This article will therefore say but little of the lineage 
of the Jouett family. Owing to the meager data 
possessed, a connected chain is impossible, but sufficient 
will be given at least to satisfy the high-churchman 
that a few missing links do not destroy the claim to 
succession. 

The late Bishop Ottey, of Tennessee, in a discussion 
with a lay Presbyterian as to apostolic succession, said : 
"In tracing a flock of sheep it is not necessary, in 
the course of their wanderings, to find fragments of 
wool on each twig to prove they have been through 
the wood." While the non-churchman was impressed 
with the force of this metaphor, he would ' not acknowl- 
edge to the Bishop that he had completely pulled the 
wool over his eyes ! 

'Read before The Filson Club, May i, 1899. 



8 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

The Jouetts were an old Norman family in Touraine 
(the garden of France), and there is now to be found 
a town in that vicinity which is called "Saint Bois de 
Jouhet." 

In 1632 Leolon de Jouhet, having married a lady of 
Marseilles, went to live near that city. Some years 
later his descendants made their way back to Touraine 
and Paris, and filled important offices at the Court. 
In 1667 we find a Matthew de Jouhet was the first 
Master of the Horse. 

On account of their having become Huguenots it 
was impossible for them to remain in France. They 
therefore fled to America, thus losing all their property 
which they could not carry with them. 

The vindictive hatred and bigotry of the Jesuits 
hunted and persecuted the Huguenots even to the shores 
of America and Canada, and those of prominence of 
position in their native France were obliged to disguise 
themselves in poverty and insignificance in order to 
elude the observation and recognition of the emissary 
of the King and his baleful advisers, the Jesuits. For 
this reason the de Jouhets dropped the "de" and 
became plain Jouhets. 

To be a Huguenot is a title in itself of nobility, 
and the French nobility were the most refined and best 



Matthew Harris Jouett 9 

educated of the nobility of Europe ; but the Jouhets, 
it seems, were the highest among these. Their coat- 
of-arms has been in the American branch of the family 
for over two hundred years, and it tells its own story. 
Three golden fleurs de lis speak of the alliance with 
the blood royal of France. The bent cimeter granted 
for distinguished service on the field of battle, and 
the currycombs symbolical of the office of the Grand 
Master of the Horse, an office which could only be 
held by those allied by blood to the Royal House of 
France, show that they were at the head of all the 
nobility. 

To bring the Jouett family down to the time of the 
subject of this sketch, the writer copies from Captain 
Alfred Pirtle's very able paper read before The Filson 
Club on Rear Admiral James E. Jouett : 

Daniel Jouet, a Huguenot, landed at Rhode Island, 
in the autumn of 1686, with fifty other immigrants. 
Owing to some difficulty about the title to the lands, 
the colony broke up, dispersing to other parts, Daniel 
Jouet removing to New York, thence to South Carolina, 
and about 1704 returning to New York, but finally 
settling in New Jersey. 

Daniel Jouet, a native of the Island of Re, on the 
west coast of France, had seven children: Daniel, Peter, 



io The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

Marie (born in England), Ezekiel, John, Elizabeth, and 
Anne. The Jouets of Virginia may come from this 
family, but the records have not yet been traced. 

How the second "t" came into use is still unknown. 

The name borne by the subject of this sketch is 
mentioned in an old volume of records of Hanover 
County, Virginia, which escaped burning when the court- 
house was burned in Richmond. 

The county including Louisa was taken off New 
Kent about 1716. The record book began January 4, 
1734, and on page io is a copy of a bond given by 
Robert Jennings, January 3, 1733, that "he will well 
conduct an ordinary, or tavern," and one of his bonds- 
men was Matthew Jouet. This is as far back as the 
name can be traced in Virginia. 

This Matthew Jouet was the ancestor of the direct 
founder of the family in Kentucky, as it is well known. 
The Marquis de La Fayette and Lord Cornwallis are 
names better remembered by Americans than those of 
any other foreigners connected with the American Rev- 
olution. In the spring of 1781 Lord Cornwallis (the 
Virginia Legislature then being at Charlottesville ) had 
driven the Marquis de La Fayette and his little band 
of brave soldiers from the low lands of the James River 
towards the higher country. 



Matthew Harris Joiiett n 

About the tenth of June Cornwallis sent a party 
of light troop under the command of the noted Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Tarlton, composed of about two hundred 
and fifty men, to surprise and capture Charlottesville 
and the Governor and the legislature. 

Captain John Jouett, directly descended from the 
Matthew Jouet before mentioned, on a fleet horse 
galloped from his home on North East Creek, six miles 
east of Louisa Court - house, to Charlottesville and 
informed Governor Thomas Jefferson and the legislature 
of the coming enemy ; but so close were they in pursuit 
that seven members were captured, and the Governor 
had a very narrow escape. 

Scarcely had the war ended and Captain Jouett 
sheathed his sword and donned the citizen's dress in 
place of the soiled and threadbare clothes of the colonial 
uniform, when he received from the General Assembly 
of Virginia a three-hundred-dollar sword and a pair of 
silver spurs in recognition of his gallant and valuable 
services. The people, too, manifested their appreciation 
and gratitude by electing him a member of the Virginia 
Legislature, and he served two terms after his removal 
to the county of Kentucky. 

Intellectual without dogmatism, intelligent without 
pedantry, courageous without braggadocio, honest with- 



12 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

out pretense, and aggressive without officiousness, were 
qualities which made him a leader in the legislature, 
as he had been when a soldier in the bloody strife. 

During his third term he warmly advocated the 
measure of authorizing the district of Kentucky (then 
part of Virginia's domain) to petition Congress for 
admission as a State into the Union, and to him more 
than to any other member was due its success. 

About the year 1782 Captain Jouett emigrated to 
Mercer County, Kentucky, where he purchased several 
thousand acres of land not far from Harrodsburg, calling 
it "Old Indian Fields." 

In August, 1784, he married Miss Sallie Robards, a 
resident of Mercer County. As the result of this union 
seven sons were born. Matthew Harris Jouett, the 
subject of this sketch, was the second son. The family 
record places his birth April 22, 1787. 

' ' Matt " ( familiarly and affectionately called by his 
brothers) exhibited at an early age a passion for draw- 
ing, and before he could count one hundred or repeat 
the Lord's Prayer he could sketch and was the aston- 
ishment of the household on account of his dexterity with 
the lead pencil and the striking likenesses he could produce. 

Mrs. R. J. Menefee, of Louisville, Kentucky, has a 
specimen of his early work. It is of an Indian chief 



Matthew Harris jfouett 13 

and a companion. It is treated in Indian ink put on 
with a brush he had improvised from a turkey feather. 

If this gift was of inheritance, it must have been 
from the long line of French noblemen. Sure it was 
not from his parents, whose hard and busy lives in a 
new and struggling country had found no time for the 
cultivation of the fine arts. The walls of their primitive 
house were not adorned with paintings or engravings, and 
pictures in the books they possessed were crude and 
inartistic, and, therefore, could not have been inspiring 
to the young genius. 

Nature, consequently, was his only inspiration and 
instructor, and so great was the impetus of his genius 
that the productions of his pencil and brush would have 
done credit to older art students who had the advan- 
tages of instruction. 

Matthew was bright, amiable, and affectionate, and 
a great favorite with his brothers. His occupation 
with his pencil did not prevent him at times engaging 
in boyish sports. When of sufficient age to do service 
for his father on the farm, he assisted his older 
brothers in their work with that faithfulness that char- 
acterized his pursuits in after years. The average 
farmer boy finds his work irksome, and is interested 
only to the extent of the play he may derive therefrom. 



14 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

Not so with Matthew, for when directing the horses 
on the threshing floor he did not consider only the circus 
he was riding for the fun of the thing, but also inter- 
ested himself in the result of separating the wheat from 
the straw. In hay-making it was not the pleasure only 
considered when he hauled the shock of hay to the 
place of stacking by means of a rope attached to the 
animal on which he was mounted. 

Matthew and his brothers had no advantages of 
school for learning even the simple rudiments, and what 
they obtained was from their parents. There was no 
school at a convenient distance, and Captain Jouett felt 
that he could not afford to send his sons abroad to 
acquire the academic education which he so much desired 
for each of them. He therefore one day called them 
together and said: "Well, now, fellows, I'm going to 
make a gentleman of one of your crowd. Who shall 
it be ? " (Meaning that he could afford to give but one 
a collegiate course.) Divining what their father wished, 
they with one accord said it should be Matthew. The 
decision thus made was evidently very satisfactory to 
the father, not expressed in words but by a smile of 
approbation. 

Being a just father, just as well as generous, he was 
unwilling to show any partiality, and was therefore 



Matthew Harris Jotiett 15 

gratified at the wise decision of his sons, while Matthew 
was greatly flattered that he should be the chosen one. 

As the time approached for Matthew to leave home, 
the thought of separation from the dear ones was to 
him exceedingly sad, especially to part with his first 
teacher who had taught him his A B C's as he knelt 
at her side while engaged in knitting, or standing near 
her to spell from the primer in the hearing of his 
mother while she, plying at the spinning-wheel, would 
use the distaff to emphasize her correction in his pro- 
nunciation. 

He was now seventeen years of age ( 1804) when 
he, accompanied by his father, left for Transylvania 
University. They made the journey of about thirty-four 
miles on horseback. 

Ambitious of an education as well as not to disap- 
point his father's high expectations (for he wanted him 
to be a lawyer and politician), he applied himself at 
once with great assiduity, and having entered the fresh- 
man class, at the end of four years graduated with honor. 

The passion for the pencil was not lessened by his 
attention to his studies, but was only held in abeyance, 
as he made it his recreation and delight of his holidays. 

Returning home after graduation, he was ready after 
a few weeks to again return to study, and as his father 



1 6 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

so much desired him to be a lawyer he began the study 
of law under Judge George M. Bibb, Chief Justice of 
the Appellate Court of Kentucky, then, as now, located 
at Frankfort. 

After a little more than a year of instruction he 
began the practice of law at Lexington, Kentucky. 

It was entirely in deference to the wishes of his 
father that he took up law. The pursuit of art for art's 
sake was his most ardent desire. 

Even while he was pursuing his law studies he could 
not resist his passion for art, and many leisure hours 
were spent in miniature work on ivory. The capital 
was loud in praise over this work. 

He especially delighted in the painting of the female 
face, and his pictures of them were most beautiful. The 
only compensation he asked was frequent and protracted 
sittings. 

Of his female acquaintances at this time which he 
took most delight in painting were the Misses Thornton, 
of Fredericksburg, Virginia. They had the type of 
beauty he most admired, and he also enjoyed their 
society, for they were both intellectual and bright. 

These young ladies were so much pleased with their 
miniatures that when on a visit a short time afterwards 
to Philadelphia they exhibited them to Mr. Brown, a 



Matthew Harris Jouett 17 

miniature painter of some repute, informing him that 
they were executed by an untutored backwoodsman. 
This he could hardly credit, and it was not surprising 
to the young ladies that he should be dubious, as in 
their judgment it surpassed any work they had seen of 
his. (Earl, of Philadelphia, a miniature painter of 
celebrity, was often credited as being the author of the 
miniatures above mentioned.) 

In 1812 Matthew was married to Miss Margaret 
Allen, of Fayette County, Kentucky. He met her for the 
first time under very peculiar and I might say romantic 
circumstances. It was his custom while attending the 
University to take a horseback ride late in the afternoon 
when the weather was favorable. One beautiful spring 
afternoon when riding on the Georgetown road he took 
the liberty of riding into the woodland pasture belonging 
to Mr. William Allen, a prominent and wealthy farmer. 
Before he had gone far he saw a young girl a few 
yards ahead of him riding on a spirited Indian pony 
bareback and sidewise. Although crossing the path a 
few yards ahead of the young Transylvanian, he was 
not discovered by the fair rider, so intent was she upon 
her mission in search of turkey nests. The speed of 
the animal had caused her sunbonnet to drop to her 
shoulders, revealing her beautiful features and rich bru- 



1 8 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

nette complexion, supplemented by a wealth of long 
brown hair which streamed in the breeze. This was a 
picture which would inspire a poet or an artist, there- 
fore it was not strange that Jouett was transfixed with 
admiration, and it is needless to say that the impression 
on the retina was transferred to the heart. In a word, 
he fell in love at first sight. He determined to make 
her acquaintance, and it was not long before an oppor- 
tunity offered. 

Not long after the nuptials the newly-married couple 
set out on horseback for Mercer County to spend part 
of their honeymoon with the groom's family. It was 
soon discovered that the bride was not only expert as 
an equestrienne, but in other out-of-door sports. In a 
foot-race she was superior to any of her husband's 
brothers, and at target-shooting she was equally expert, 
and oftener hit the bull's-eye than any of them. Her 
brothers-in-law heartily applauded her success and were 
delighted to have her in their games, but it did not 
meet the approval of the old Captain, and he gently 
lectured his daughter-in-law on what he considered 
unbecoming in one of her sex and maturity to thus 
engage in boyish sports. 

In the same year that Jouett was married war with 
England was declared, and he, not being able to resist 



Matthew Harris jfouett 19 

the martial spirit inherited from many generations, was 
among the first to offer his services to the Government, 
enlisting in Captain Robert Crockett's Company, Third 
Mounted Regiment, Kentucky Volunteers, commanded 
by Colonel Allen. Soon after his enrollment in Captain 
Crockett's Company he was appointed by President 
Madison Paymaster, with rank of First Lieutenant, 
Twenty-eighth United States Infantry, to rank from May 
20, 1813 ; was promoted to be Captain, same regiment, 
July 13, 1814, and resigned January 20, 1815. 

The Twenty-eighth Infantry was organized under the 
act of January 29, 1813, and after the reduction of 
the army in May, 1815, following the war, was con- 
solidated with several other regiments to form the Third. 
T. D. Owings was Colonel of the regiment from March 
11, 1813, to the time of the consolidation in May, 1815. 
This promotion, of course, was greatly appreciated by 
Jouett, as it was a recognition of his capacity and integrity. 

Controlled by patriotism, he was willing to make any 
sacrifice for his country, but a misfortune overtook him 
that he least expected. In the confusion of the Battle 
of the River Raisin the strong - box that contained his 
pay-rolls and other valuable papers, together with the 
Government money to the amount of six thousand 
dollars, was captured or destroyed, 



20 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

Although this misfortune was not due to any neglect 
of his, he was prompted by that honesty which was 
one of his strongest characteristics to make good the 
loss, and on his return home he diligently applied his 
brush in order to reimburse his sureties. It was several 
years, however, before he could make enough to replace 
the amount lost. He was too proud to ask relief from 
Congress. 

The consuming desire to abandon all else and devote 
his entire time, thought, and energy to the pursuit of art 
at last became so intense that he could resist it no longer ; 
so he determined, although against the advice of his 
friends, to give up law (at which he had made a begin- 
ning) and to take up painting as a profession. 

His friends believed that he would succeed at the 
bar, and thereby obtain a better livelihood. It was 
further argued that Audubon, who at that time resided 
in Louisville, Kentucky, was scarcely able by his gifted 
brush to obtain a competency. The money argument 
he conceded, but to the prominence law would give him 
over the reputation he could acquire by the brush he 
could not consent ; besides, the dry detail of law was 
very irksome to one of esthetical taste. 

His abandonment of law so irritated his father that 
he said to a friend: "I sent Matthew to college to 



Matthew Harris Jouett 21 

make a gentleman of him, and he has turned out to be 
nothing but a d d sign painter ! " 

To class the profession of the artist with that of the 
trade of the sign painter is not strange, nor is it strange 
that Captain Jouett should have been disappointed and 
chagrined at the changed purpose of his son. The 
environments of the pioneer, living as he was in the 
hunting - ground of the Indian, rendered him incapable 
of appreciating the difference between the artist and the 
mechanic. Even Virginia, where he had received his 
early training, was hardly more advanced than Kentucky 
at that day in the cultivation of the fine arts. 

The refining influence of civilization and the march 
of progress are necessary to a general love of art. 
Therefore, we find that the painters of distinction that 
we had in this country at that time (West, Trumbull, 
and Gilbert Stuart) lived in the older cities in the East, 
Boston and Philadelphia. If Captain Jouett had felt 
differently it would have been as wonderful as the genius 
of his son, who had been endowed by nature. 

To effectually curb development in the fine arts of 
one who possesses an innate passion therefor is as 
impossible as to change the course of the Niagara River 
or suddenly check its momentum at the very verge of 
its leap. The would-be artist felt satisfied that in a 



22 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

short time he would be able to convince his father 
that by choosing this profession he would not lose the 
respect of his friends or injure his social position. The 
education he received at Transylvania was not wasted, 
for it not only assisted him in the study of nature but 
in an intelligent performance of his work. 

As his reputation as a painter was already established, 
he had no misgiving as to being able to obtain a suf- 
ficient livelihood for himself and family, even better 
than the practice of law could afford at the outset. 
At first he only received twenty - five dollars for his life- 
sized portraits, but, being very rapid in his execution, 
could paint three in one week, thus making a comfort- 
able living. At that time large incomes were not as 
necessary as now, for it will be remembered that the 
purchasing power of a dollar was greater than at the 
present day. 

Jouett, never having had any artist associates, was 
very desirous of meeting some of those living in the 
East, and to learn something of their methods and 
experience. He, therefore, early in June, 1817, started 
for Philadelphia on horseback. It was a long and weary 
journey, taking five weeks to accomplish. Arriving at 
the Quaker City, he made no delay in visiting the studios 
of several of the artists. He was disappointed in not 



Matthew Harris Jouett 23 

finding the one he most wanted to see, Benjamin West, 
he having embarked for England a few weeks before 
he arrived. In a few days he continued his journey 
on horseback to Boston to make the acquaintance of 
Gilbert Stuart. So delighted was the backwoodsman 
artist with Mr. Stuart that he requested the favor of 
becoming his pupil. The great master in turn was much 
pleased with the address and bearing of the applicant, 
and at once granted the request, and further showed 
his kind feeling by inviting him to occupy his studio 
with him. 

A pleasant and cordial relation was at once established 
between master and pupil. The master always addressed 
his pupil as "Kentucky." On one occasion, observing 
he was in trouble over a head he was engaged upon, 
he asked : ' ' Kentucky, what is your trouble ? " When 
informed it was the expression of the eyes he could 
not get, Stuart, with one stroke of the brush, produced 
the desired effect. His preceptor made a study of his 
pupil for a portrait, and when his picture was done 
presented it to him. As he could not carry it on his horse 
without injury, he left it with a business firm in Boston 
to be sent to him at the earliest opportunity, and when 
transportation was established the picture could not be 
found, although diligent search had been made. 



24 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

It was Jouett's ambition to visit England for the 
purpose of studying under the best painters of that 
country, but Mr. Stuart disapproved of such a trip, 
giving as his opinion that art had greatly deteriorated in 
London, and at that time was at a standstill. Sir Joshua 
Reynolds was profound in the theory of art, and a 
most admirable portrait painter. His immediate suc- 
cessor, Sir Thomas Lawrence, was not his equal. His 
contemporary, Hogarth, was the prince of characteristics. 
Gainsborough and Wilson, of the same period, were 
landscape painters of no common ability. To Sir David 
Wilkie, as a painter of humble life, great honor is due, 
but in the higher walks of historic painting they can not 
boast of a name that ranks so high in critical estimation 
as that of our Washington Allston. Nor did Reynolds 
himself produce paintings that in essential excellence as 
individual portraits surpass those of Gilbert Stuart. 

Remaining as pupil to Stuart during the summer, 
Jouett in the fall returned to Lexington, Kentucky, 
where he opened a studio, and at once had numerous 
orders, although he had doubled his price on portraits. 
The comparative idleness of his brush during the long 
winter season incident to the climate of Kentucky 
determined him to try his fortune in the South. He 
established himself in New Orleans, and in a short 



Matthew Harris Jottett 25 

time exceeded his fondest expectations, and before 
midwinter had received numerous commissions at an 
advanced price. His reputation extending to the other 
Southern cities on the Mississippi, he had more work 
than he could perform in one season, so he had to 
return successive seasons to fill his engagements, and 
those annual visitations were kept up almost to the 
year of his death. 

On the occasion of the reception of General La Fay- 
ette by the patriotic citizens of Lexington in the year 
1824, no one was more enthusiastic or more delighted 
to pay honor to the French soldier who aided the 
Americans in obtaining their independence than the 
soldier artist. He was complimented by being chosen 
assistant marshal on the occasion of the parade. Mrs. 
Jouett and her little ten -year -old daughter (the late 
Mrs. S. B. Menefee) stood in front of the family 
residence to see the procession as it passed up Main 
Street. When the carriage containing the French vet- 
eran was opposite them Sarah Jouett, with a little 
companion, approached the carriage and handed a small 
basket of fruit to La Fayette, who, upon receiving it, 
said: "God bless you, little children." 

The distinguished foreign visitor being invited to 
Frankfort to spend a few days with one of its patriotic 



26 The Old Masters of the Bluegmss 

citizens, Jouett accompanied him to obtain sittings for 
a full - length portrait. La Fayette kindly gave the 



sittings, and was much interested in the development of 
the sketch, which was completed before he left Kentucky. 

From this study, which was less than the size of 
life, Jouett executed the life - size, full - length portrait 
which now hangs on the walls of the State House, 
it having been purchased by the State. 

While it possesses great merit as a painting, both 
in likeness and execution, art critics who have seen 
both the study and the larger painting regard it as not 
as good as the former. The smaller picture is now 
in possession of a citizen of Richmond, Kentucky, having 
been presented to a relative by the artist. 

The writer has seen but one of the two paintings 
named ( the one in the State House ), so can not com- 
pare them, but is disposed to agree with the critics ; 
for it is a well - known fact that the best painters rarely 
succeed in making a copy equal to the original unless 
the first work is defective. In copying the work becomes 
mechanical, the first inspiration is gone, and it becomes 
almost impossible to throw the same life and action 
into the reproduction. 

Considering the short time Jouett spent on this 
picture, it is a marvelous success. It usually takes an 



Matthew Harris Jouett 27 

industrious painter a month or more to finish a life-sized, 
full - length portrait. The action, pose, and anatomy of 
this portrait are masterly, and the modeling true to life. 
The State should be congratulated in the possession of 
such a work of art, and should value it as one of its 
greatest treasures, as coming from the brush of one of 
its most gifted sons. 

It would do credit to the National Capitol, and 
would excel in merit much that now hangs upon its 
walls, for Congress has not always been fortunate in 
selecting paintings of intrinsic value. 

The average Congressman has little knowledge of 
true works of art, and regards them as a commercial 
commodity. Consequently, when a measure is before 
Congress for the purchase of a picture, he is more 
influenced by the lobbyist than by the merit of the 
painting. Only a few years ago an appropriation of 
fifteen thousand dollars passed the Senate for the pur- 
chase of a full - length portrait of one of the distin- 
guished generals of the Civil War, painted by a Wash- 
ington artist, but it failed to pass the House because 
of a united remonstrance from Philadelphia artists, 
who protested that it would reflect discredit upon 
the Government if it were seen on the wall of the 
Capitol. 



2 8 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

Between General La Fayette and Jouett, during the 
long sittings for this portrait, there arose a mutual 
understanding and sympathy. They were both veterans, 
one of the Revolution and the other of the War of 
1812, so when the time for separation came the good- 
bye was as hard to say as if their social relations had 
existed for years, and to this magnetism is due much 
of the success of this great picture. 

The old and trite saying that "blood will tell " is 
strikingly illustrated in the character of the subject of 
this sketch. A portrait of him, painted by his own brush, 
is among the collection owned by Mrs. R. J. Menefee, of 
this city, and depicts a noble visage. His features were 
of Irish cast, with a placid but firm expression, his eyes 
were gray -blue, and he had dark brown hair and ruddy 
complexion. 

In stature he was tall and spare, but symmetrically 
proportioned, which, aided by his military training, gave 
him a fine presence. He at once impressed the stranger 
as being of aristocratic descent. The stranger, on further 
acquaintance, would be confirmed in his first impression, 
for the qualities of his mind were beyond the ordinary. 
His brilliant conversational powers, his sparkling wit 
and quick repartee made him attractive to every one, 
especially to the refined and intelligent. 



Matthew Harris Jottett 29 

He had strong religious convictions. He always 
strictly observed the Sabbath day, and there is to be 
found in his manuscripts an approval of Johnson's 
condemnation of Sir Joshua Reynolds' habit of painting 
on Sunday. 

His large storehouse of information was never allowed 
to be depleted, but being a great reader it was con- 
stantly added to. He was especially fond of poetry. 
He was very versatile ; besides being master of the 
brush, he was a graceful and ready writer, and also 
performed skillfully upon two musical instruments, the 
violin and the flute. 

The adage, "Jack of all trades, good at none," was 
not applicable to him, for his determination to become 
a painter, a great portrait painter, he ever kept in view. 
His attainments in literature and in music show that if 
he had given the same attention to either of them, or 
made them the goal of his ambition, he would have 
been equally successful. 

When seated before his canvas he threw into it all 
of his energy, and was restive under any interruption. 
His studio was not for loiterers, and he was not slow 
in letting such visitors know that their room was better 
than their company. On one occasion his patience was 
very much tried by long and repeated visits from one 



3O The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

of this character. In order to get rid of him he one 
day said to him: "Young man, can you see right 
well ? " " Yes, sir ; no one in this town can see better 
than I can." Pointing with his mahlstick to the entrance, 
the painter then asked : ' ' Can you see that door ? " The 
hint was not as broad as a church door nor as deep 
as a well, but it sufficed, and he stood not on the order 
of his going, but went quickly, slamming the door after 
him. To Jouett's satisfaction he never came back again. 

When not occupied at his easel he was courteous to 
visitors, however humble their station in life. To his 
servants he was always kind, and to those advanced in 
life he would allow the familiarity presumed on by old 
family servants. Particularly was this so with his old 
servant "Ned." 

This old Ned was wonderfully pious and a great 
exhorter in theory a temperance man, but prone to 
backsliding. Knowing his master's fondness for horses, 
and that it was his custom in the afternoon on his way 
home during the racing season to stop at the race-course 
and enjoy the sport, he felt it his duty to lecture him 
on the evil of his ways, and would do so after this 
manner: "Mars Matt, ef yer don't be kerful dem races 
gwine ter be de ruin ov yer sol ; taint no place for de 
chillun ov de Lord ! " Jouett listened to him patiently 



Matthew Harris Jouett 3 1 

and consented to his argument, but did not promise 
to reform. The next day after one of these earnest 
admonitions Mr. Jouett walked into the race-course, and, 
to his astonishment, saw old Ned perched in a tree- 
top eagerly watching the fun. He called to him : ' ' Ned, 
you hypocritical black rascal, what are you doing up 
there ? " " Now, Mars Matt, you go long and let dis nigger 
lone. He am there ter see no races fer hissef ; he jist 
come ter cotch de sinners, an" ter testify agin 'em. " The 
master passed on, leaving the pious Ned to take notes. 

The declaration of the Nazarine that "a prophet is 
not without honor save in his own country " has not 
since his day been repeated with greater significance than 
when applied to the subject of this sketch. The product 
of his brush was hardly appreciated beyond that of por- 
traiture, not taking them on their merits as works of 
art. His reputation was therefore limited to Kentucky 
and a few Southern cities, and then only as a likeness 
painter. 

It was not until the exhibition of his ' portraits at the 
World's Fair at Chicago, in 1893, that his fame as a 
great painter began its expansion. His productions were 
given the best places in the gallery by the hanging 
committee because of their recognized merit, and they 
stood the most favorable comparison with the works of 



32 The Old Masters of the Bhiegrass 

the best foreign painters. The demand now for his 
paintings by home and foreign collectors is almost without 
a parallel. The quest is for portraits painted by him 
of public men, but they are willing, if such are not for 
sale, to purchase family portraits, offering as high as five 
hundred dollars for a bust size. A portrait by him of 
his pupil, John Grimes, was presented by the late Mrs. 
S. B. Menefee to the New York Museum of Art. 

Since the World's Fair his pictures have been eagerly 
solicited by projectors of exhibits, and have been exhibited 
in Philadelphia and Cincinnati. Professor Thomas S. 
Noble, 1 Superintendent of the Art School in Cincinnati, 
after scrutinizing carefully the Jouett portraits in the 
collections, exclaimed to a friend, "Rembrandt is next 
to God, and Jouett is next to Rembrandt ! " 

Rembrandt, like Jouett, was not appreciated until after 
his death. He felt, however, more keenly the pangs of 
poverty than Jouett. His portraits were in little demand 
during his life, and those he did sell were at prices 
hardly sufficient to keep the wolf from the door. At 
this day his works command the most fabulous prices. 

1 Lexington, Kentucky, being the birthplace of Professor Noble, it 
would be but just and fitting that his history should appear with the 
sketches of the Bluegrass masters, except for the purpose of the author 
to confine his work to the deceased painters of that locality. Kentucky 
should class him as one of her gifted sons, as he has established a 
national reputation as a character painter second to none in this country. 




JOHN GRIMES. 



Painted by Matthew Harris Jouett. 



Matthew Harris Jouett 33 

The New York Museum of Art secured one at the 
enormous sum of one hundred thousand dollars. 

The appreciation of true art has undergone a revo- 
lution since the days of Rembrandt, consequently the 
home and foreign artists are reaping a harvest, and 
portraits hardly equal to those of either of the artists 
named are valued at from two hundred dollars to one 
thousand dollars. Lenbach, the Munich artist, asks five 
thousand dollars for his portraits without hands. 

Meissonier, the French artist, was once asked by a 
guest why he did not have some of his work on the walls 
of his residence. His laconic reply was, "I can't afford 
to," implying that his paintings commanded such prices 
that he could better afford to pay for paintings of others. 

It has been the opinion of some that republics are 
unfavorable to the cultivation of art, and that monarch- 
ical governments are better patrons. This can only be 
true to the extent that wealth was concentrated in a 
few hands in monarchies, and, being hereditary, there 
was more time to accumulate works of art and to educate 
the taste. As a republic grows older and richer this 
ceases to be the case, and America is now considered 
one of the best markets for rare collections. 

At the recent Clark sale, in New York City, the 
pictures found ready sale at good prices. A landscape 



34 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

by George Inness sold for ten thousand dollars, having 
been bought from the painter a few years before his 
death for only three hundred dollars. This would show 
that if a connoisseur were to buy up good pictures from 
promising young artists it would prove a good specu- 
lation much better than diamonds, for paintings of 
merit are enhanced in value by age ; they become richer 
and more mellow, while diamonds and other precious 
stones are stationary, and are only valued to the amount 
invested. 

The French republic, at the present day, is foremost 
in portraiture, due, in a large measure, to patronage from 
the cultivated in art. 

An artist of world - wide fame, who had traveled 
through Europe, said that he believed that some of 
Jouett's best heads could be sold in those countries for 
Van Dykes if the costumes were but changed to the 
period of that artist. 

When the Honorable Charles Sumner was a guest 
of General William Preston, at Lexington, Kentucky, 
several years before the Civil War, he was much 
impressed by the portraits by Jouett which hung upon 
the walls. Escorting Mrs. Preston in to dinner on the 
evening of his arrival, he was attracted on entering the 
dining-room by Jouett's portrait of Mrs. Irvin hanging 



Matthew Harris youett 35 

over the mantel. He stopped, looked at it closely, and 
exclaimed, ' ' What a glorious Van Dyke ! Where did 
you get it ? " Mrs. Preston told him he was mistaken 
in the artist ; that it was painted by Matt. Jouett, a 
Kentucky painter, who she was sure had never seen a 
Van Dyke or any other master picture. Mr. Sumner 
had made a study of foreign art and artists, and prided 
himself on his knowledge in that direction ; he was, 
therefore, surprised beyond measure at learning that 
the picture before him was not painted by the great 
pupil of Rubens, but by an American artist, and one 
of whom he had never heard. 

Jouett painted nature as he saw it. The eye of 
genius comprehended form in its appropriate lines and 
symmetry, and in color its positive, transparent, and 
complementary shadows. This ocular impression on the 
retina was duplicated on the canvas with simplicity and 
directness, consequently his heads have roundness, and 
preserve throughout a consistent harmony. He had a 
technique of his own, and, with a full and vigorous 
brush, applied the color to the canvas. This is especially 
shown in his miniatures, in that he did not conform to 
the conventional stippling and hatching, but, as in his 
oil portraits, painted in a broad style and with frequent 
washings. Drawing he considered of primary importance, 



36 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

and he was a perfect draftsman, as his portraits show. 
His backgrounds were simply treated and had sufficient 
atmosphere to relieve the head and body and balance 
the warm and cold tones. The head being of greatest 
interest, he subordinated accessories, giving but little 
attention to dress, especially in the female sitter. 

The sentiment given to his faces was more than the 
majority of the best artists could accomplish. This power 
was especially shown in his female portraits, and he 
could paint a woman with equal success as a man. 

Most artists are incapable of painting with equal 
fidelity the male and female. Gilbert Stuart and Healy 
were striking examples of this ; although they could not 
be excelled in painting male heads, they were not always 
so successful in painting portraits of women. Thomas 
Sully, on the contrary, was more successful with his 
female than with his male portraits. 

So pronounced was Jouett's objection to detail in 
dress that some of his female portraits are deficient in 
this respect, the apparel being indicated merely in a 
sketchy manner. 

When painting in Louisville at one time he asked 
a young gentleman friend to sit for him, and was much 
surprised, when he presented himself for the first sitting, 
to see he had bedecked himself for the occasion in a 



Matthew Harris Jouett 37 

broadcloth suit, buff vest, ruffled shirt bosom, and red 
necktie. Jouett greeted him with : ' ' What in the thunder 
did you dress up that way for ? I expected to paint a 
gentleman, not a confounded fop. Remove that trumpery 
and come back to me in gentleman's clothes." Although 
the friend was surprised at this direction, he consented 
to make the change, and left immediately to do so, 
Jouett remarking, "I will fiddle until you come back." 
The writer has seen this picture, and it is of a very 
handsome man, and is one of Jouett's best. 

The few months' study under Stuart did not cause 
Jouett to lose his individuality in his execution or appre- 
ciably change his style. While there is some resemblance 
in their work, it is caused by the fact that they both 
copied nature. Jouett did not try to imitate his master. 
It is this nearness to nature that accounts for the 
resemblance of Jouett's paintings to those of Van Dyke. 

The greatest benefit Jouett received from Stuart was 
the knowledge of the chemical properties of the different 
pigments so necessary in securing durability. Had he 
had this knowledge in his early use of oil, his pictures 
would have been better preserved. Some of his paint- 
ings, even since acquiring this chemical knowledge, have 
somewhat deteriorated in color, caused by rough hand- 
ling and injudicious cleaning. He was never known to 



38 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

varnish his portraits. If he had done so, they would 
have better stood the scratches and washings. His 
ambition caused him to play with color and its com- 
position. Unlike Sir Joshua Reynolds, he was willing 
to give the result of his experience to others. He 
prepared a manuscript manual on oil painting, and 
had it gone to the publisher it would have proved a 
great help to professional artists of smaller reputation 
and to the beginner in art studies. The pallet he 
most used was adopted by some of the artists who 
followed him. 

Whether Jouett's genius had sufficient latitude for 
figure composition to have made him as successful as 
he was in portraiture is not known, as he left no canvas 
on which to base an opinion. His nearest approach to 
composition is a portrait of his wife and child painted 
on the same canvas ( twenty - five by thirty inches ). 
The mother is represented in a standing position, holding 
in her arms a handsome, chubby boy baby, who looks 
over his mother's bare shoulder. The mother, in con- 
sequence, is represented in an opposite direction from 
the child, which gives a back view of the body and 
head. It is truly a masterpiece, and, in the judgment 
of the writer, would have done credit to Rembrandt or 
Van Dyke. Healy was enthusiastic in his praise of this 




JOUETT'S WIFE AND CHILD. 



From a portrait painted by himself. 






Matthew Harris Jouett 39 

picture, and on one occasion said to a brother painter 
that it merited a place in the Louvre. 

It is exceptional when a painter is alike successful 
in the two departments of art. In portraiture the essen- 
tial quality is individuality accented, and in historical 
and genre it is character idealized. To correct likeness 
belongs expression as much as form. With this difficulty 
the character painter has not to contend. 

Mobility of countenance is a serious obstacle in arriving 
at a satisfactory result. For this reason Jouett had much 
trouble in painting the portrait of Mr. Henry Clay. He 
made three attempts, but on account of the variable 
expression of the great statesman he did not succeed to 
his satisfaction. The one he most valued is owned by 
Major Henry McDowell, who resides at Ashland, the late 
home of Henry Clay. Major McDowell purchased it 
from Mrs. Jane Logan, of Shelbyville, Kentucky. 

It is said that Henry Clay on one occasion took a 
lad in whom he was interested, and who had expressed 
a desire to study art, to Mr. Jouett's studio with the 
request that the artist would favor him as an old friend 
by taking him under his care and instruction. Mr. 
Jouett at once took the boy in his studio. After some 
months' absence in Washington, Mr. Clay, returning to 
Lexington, called at the studio and made inquiry for 



40 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

his young protege. "Well, Mr. Jouett, how does the 
lad progress ? " " Poorly," replied the artist. " No special 
talent, mediocre ability." "Oh, well," said the states- 
man, "we will put him at something else better suited 
to his capacity." "Too late," said Mr. Jouett. "Why 
so ? " " He has dabbled in paint, " replied the artist, 
' ' and will never be fit for any thing else. " This showed 
that Jouett was a philosopher as well as a painter. 

Possessed of a remarkable memory for the retention 
of form, color, and expression, Jouett was enabled to 
paint correctly the faces of acquaintances long after their 
demise. A. striking illustration of this is shown in the 
portrait painted of Colonel John Allen, who fell at the 
River Raisin. 

Jouett's powers must have been extraordinary. All 
artists were impressed by the man and fascinated by 
his work. Men of art instincts and discriminating judg- 
ment placed a high estimate upon his productions. As 
an example of the impression he made upon artists, it 
may not be out of place to give Neagle's experience. 

John Neagle, of Philadelphia, who attained a high 
position as portrait painter, and who married a daughter 
of Thomas Sully, thinking he could better compete with 
the rough Western painters than with the educated artists 
of the East, visited Lexington in 1818 with a view 



Matthew Harris Jouett 41 

to establishing himself permanently in that growing town. 
On arriving he asked if there were any portrait painters 
there. He was astonished to learn there were two. 
Starting out to look them up, he chanced to go first 
to Jouett's studio. Upon examining the work he quickly 
decided he could never be the leading portrait painter 
of Lexington, and determined not to remain, as there 
would be no hope for employment with such a rival to 
contend with. Neagle, discouraged and without money, 
had many difficulties and much anxiety before he got 
back to Philadelphia, and concluded to measure swords 
with other than backwoods artists in the future. The 
return to Philadelphia proved a wise decision, for in a 
few years he became one of the leading portrait painters, 
and, in 1840, was commissioned by the admirers of 
Henry Clay in that city to paint his full-length portrait. 
He therefore again made a visit to Lexington to procure 
sittings from the great Commoner. 

In a letter to the late Mr. Jouett Menefee, of this 
city, from the great artist Healy, he thus expresses his 
opinion of Jouett : 

PARIS, October 12, 1878. 
My Dear Mr, Menefee : 

I am very happy to hear from you and your dear mother, 
whose health is, I hope, better than when I saw you both in 
Rome. I am also glad that you intend to give the world some 



42 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

account of Stuart's best pupil, your gifted grandfather, of whom 
our greatest portrait painter was so fond and so proud. I often 
heard our friend, the late Oliver Frazer, speak with pride and 
affection of him when I first knew him in Europe. But when I 
saw the work of our gifted countryman, Mr. Jouett, I fully under- 
stood what Frazer had said, and that we have great reason to 
feel proud of him. I well remember being told by our friend 
that Stuart used to call his favorite, while his pupil, not by his 
name, but simply "Kentucky." I feel sure that as the works of 
your grandfather become more known, his just fame will be more 
and more widely established. I am sincerely rejoiced that you 
are to execute this work of simple justice to the honor and glory 
of one of the most gifted and best artists our country has ever 
produced. I wish I had more details to give you. 

I beg you to say to your mother that I am working away as 
when we saw each other in Rome. I wish you and she could 
be here now to enjoy the great Exposition, especially the art 
department, which is so rich that you would wish to take up 
your abode there for a month. 

I went for a few weeks to Coblentz for the treatment of my 
eyes by my oculist, Dr. Menrer. He has done them a world of 
good ; the rest was also of great use. I am grieved to feel I 
may never return home, having lost every thing by the fire of 
Chicago, and being too old to commence life anew ; besides this, 
four of my children are settled in Europe, so I suppose I shall 
have to remain away from home. 

My wife and family join me in kind regards to you and your 

dear mother. 

Ever sincerely your friend, 

GEORGE P. HEALY. 



Matthew Harris Jouett 43 

At his country home, August 10, 1827, on Matthew 
Jouett the curtain fell, ever shutting from his view nature, 
the source of his matchless inspiration. He died, after 
a short illness, in his fortieth year. Thus to be cut 
down in early manhood, at the full tide of professional 
success and the promise of greater possibilities, is a prov- 
idential dispensation which the finite mind is incapable 
of interpreting. His admiring friends had, however, the 
comfort of knowing that he had accomplished as much 
in the ten years of his professional life as many others 
of the brush are able to do in a long lifetime. 

A few days after the funeral the following poem 
appeared in the Focus, published in Lexington : 

The death news came. Behold he lies 

Upon his funeral bier, 
Crowned with the laurels of his fame 

That never shall soon sear. 

Where wert thou, Genius ? Nature, where ? 

When he, your favorite, lay 
Struggling with Death ? Why flew ye not 

To wrench Death's darts away ? 

Could ye not save ? No, no, I feel 

Your powerless love, you moan 
Or surely you had sped full fast 

To shield, to save your own. 



44 The Old Masters of the Btuegrass 

O ! Nature, 't is my wild, wild dream 

The wondrous gift you gave 
Thy son, provoked the vengeful dart 

That hurled him to the grave. 

He was, indeed, Death's harmless foe, 

For by his pencil's art 
With magic triumph high he soared 

Above the spoiler's dart. 

He bade the living sweetly feel 
When life's brief sun was set, 

Their pictured forms would still shine on 
And show them living yet. 

But, ah ! his genius led too far, 

Too high it did aspire, 
When from the tomb's long mouldering forms 

He waked their living fire, 

And bade it on the canvas glow 

So strangely true and bright, 
That eyes that long had wept the dead 

Ran o'er with sad delight. 

Jouett ! thou wert to us a pride, 

For cradled in the wild, 
In our own woods, thy soul took wing, 

Thy opening genius smiled. 

Though we, thy country, mourn thee now, 

Our grief may know control ; 
But there is one whose bosom's hopes 

Fled with thy parting soul. 



Matthew Harris Joueti 45 

Her eye is gazing on thy grave, 

Her heart within is laid ; 
The fatherless are wailing round, 

"O ! Mother, he is dead." 

Peace to thy breaking heart, lone dove, 

Though riven from thy mate ; 
For coming years e'en yet may find 

Thee not all desolate. 

Yes, those young heart-sobs now 

Deep mixing with thine own, 
Shall oft impart sweet dreams to thee 

Of him whose spirit's flown. 

Far through the day thy now sore love, 
Touched by time's mellowing beam, 

Shall then all sweetly wrap thy soul, 
And be its loveliest dream. 

Jouett ! from one whose heart was thine, 

These lines have struggled forth ; 
Who wears within his bosom now 

The picture of thy worth. 

His remains were laid to rest in the family burying- 
ground of his father-in-law, Mr. William Allen, in the 
presence of relatives and a host of admiring friends. 



46 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 



OBITUARY. 

(From the Lexington Reporter of Wednesday, August 15, 1827.) 

Died, last Friday afternoon, at his residence, near this place, Matthew 
H. Jouett, Esquire, an artist of rare genius and of considerable celebrity. 
As a father, husband, friend, and citizen his death is deeply lamented, for in 
all these relations he occupied an elevated and enviable station in our society. 

Mr. Smith : 

Permit me through your paper to notice the last moments of 
our departed friend, Matthew H. Jouett. On Sunday evening, 
the 2gth of July, he arrived at home from Louisville, where he 
had been for some time in the line of his profession. The morn- 
ing after his arrival he found himself indisposed by an attack of 
bilious fever. The symptoms at first did not appear of the most 
malignant kind, but the disease rapidly disclosed its virulent 
character, so that by the sixth day, notwithstanding the strength 
of his constitution and the prompt use of powerful counteracting 
medicines, his condition was painful and alarming. From that 
time till the tenth day of his illness his physicians and friends 
were balanced between hope and fear. His firmness and confi- 
dence in the use of the means never once forsook him till the 
tenth day in the evening ; finding himself then entirely prostrated 
and without the command of his limbs, he for the first time 
expressed his belief that he would be compelled to leave us. 
He survived but two days longer, during which time he dictated 
the condition of his affairs and directed his thoughts to a future 
state. On the morning preceding his departure he gave his dear 
wife and children in charge to a beloved brother-in-law, and, in 
the most impressive and energetic manner, dedicated his soul to 
God and humbly prayed that he might be received into Heaven. 
He died like a philosopher, yet relying upon the merits and 



Matthew Harris Joiiett 47 

intercession of the Saviour. It is a remarkable fact that his 
vast mental faculties, though besieged in the fortress of the 
body, retained their accustomed vigor and discrimination to the 
last moment of his life. During the day his anxious friends 
frequently expressed their hope that he was getting better. He 
replied, "I distinctly feel death crawling up my body. I shall 
soon be gone." He calmly measured every encroachment of 
death till it swallowed up his body in victory. Thus died in the 
prime of life one of the best and most noble of men. I will not 
speak of the extraordinary endowments which he was known to 
possess, and which but few are born to cultivate. I will merely 
allude to his qualifications as a man, in the relations of husband, 
father, and friend, in which his loss will be most felt. As a 
husband he was one of the kindest and most devoted ; he was 
adored by his amiable wife. As a father his earthly happiness 
and desire to live was mainly centered in his numerous little 
offspring. How often has the writer mingled his feelings with 
the fears of the father that by some accident he would be called 
from the guardianship of his children ! The development and 
virtuous direction of their infant minds was his ruling concern. 
As a friend all the powers of his uncommon intellect and pure 
feelings were brought to bear upon and to chasten friendship, 
the dearest and most disinterested of earthly relations. It was 
in the hour of adversity that he sought to appreciate character, 
whether depressed by providence, popular clamor, or the fruits 
of indiscretion. His mind, as if inspired by heaven, seized the 
bright spark in the character of the victim, fanned it into a 
flame, and placed it in propitious contrast to the dark shade. 
But he is gone, regretted and beloved by all who knew him. 
Let us remember his virtues and endeavor to imitate them. 

A FRIEND. 



48 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

A few years ago his bod}' with that of his wife and 
son-in-law (Honorable Richard H. Menefee) were removed 
to Louisville and reinterred in Cave Hill Cemetery. 
Appropriate monuments mark their graves. 

Although Jouett's brush was prolific, he left his large 
family not more than a comfortable support. Had he 
lived in New York the pecuniary returns of his brush 
would have been more than a competency to have been 
enjoyed by his family. To show what advantages an 
artist had in the East, the writer quotes from Charles 
Henry Hart in the October (1898) Century on Gilbert 
Stuart : "In later days, with sitters besieging his doors, 
he would turn them away, one by one, until the larder 
was empty and there was not a penny left in the 
purse. Then he would go to work, and in an incredibly 
short time produce one of his masterpieces." Jouett, 
on account of his energy and responsibility of family, 
had he had the same environments, would have been even 
more successful than his preceptor, Stuart. Through 
the diligence of his grandson, the late Richard Jouett 
Menefee, three hundred and twelve portraits painted by 
his grandfather have been located and the owners 
ascertained. 

Mrs. Jouett, on a small farm of thirty acres, was 
able, by her fine business qualities, to provide food and 




Matthew Harris youett 49 

clothing, and to educate her children. The care and 
training she gave her nine fatherless children bore good 
fruit, for the four that reached maturity were an orna- 
ment to society and a credit to the State. 

George P. Jouett, the eldest, when he attained man- 
hood was respected and honored by his fellow - citizens, 
and was twice elected Mayor of Lexington, Kentucky. 
At the breaking out of the Civil War he offered his 
services to the Government, and by the Governor was 
appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Fifteenth Kentucky 
Volunteer Infantry. At the Battle of Perryville, October 
8, 1862, he courageously gave his life to his country. 

Sarah B. married, while in her teens, the Honorable 
Richard H. Menefee, the great orator and statesman. After 
a few years of conjugal happiness the bonds of union 
were broken by the death of the husband. Mrs. Men- 
efee was a wonderful woman, in that she maintained 
the vigor of a strong intellect and tenacious memory 
to the end of her long and useful life. Like her father, 
she was a brilliant conversationalist. She died December 
13, 1898, in her eighty - fourth year. 

Rear Admiral James Edward Jouett was educated at 
the Naval Academy, and his naval achievements during 
the Civil War are household words, and by the future 
historian he will be coupled with Farragut. 



So The Old Masters of the Btuegrass 

Matthew H. Jouett, junior, was in the Kentucky Federal 
Cavalry with the rank of Captain, and made a record 
of which Kentucky should be proud. For some years 
he has been retired from the army, and is now living 
on a farm in Missouri. 

Richard Jouett Menefee, the grandson of the great 
painter, the writer must not pass, although his memory 
is fresh in the minds of the citizens of Louisville, and 
to speak of his virtues would be but tearing away the 
myrtle from the face of his tomb to read his epitaph. 
A few years before his death he undertook the filial duty 
of making a catalogue of his grandfather's paintings and 
writing his biography. He talked to those in the city 
and wrote to those outside who he knew owned paintings 
by Jouett for accurate information concerning the pictures 
they owned, and asked them for information concerning 
others having such paintings. In this way he acquired 
a valuable fund of information on the subject, and as 
it came to him he made a catalogue of the pictures 
and their owners. His main object was to write a 
monograph for The Filson Club, of which he was a 
member, embracing a biography of Jouett, illustrated 
by steel engravings or halftones of his principal works. 
He made considerable progress in his undertaking, but 
before he could finish it death overtook him and deprived 



Matthew Harris Jouett 5 1 

The Filson Club and the world of art of a valuable 
work. Fortunately, he made a catalogue of the paint- 
ings and their owners as the information was gathered, 
and the following is a copy of that catalogue as he 
left it : 

CATALOGUE OF JOUETT'S PICTURES AND THEIR OWNERS. 

1. Portrait of Artist Matthew H. Jouett. Owned by R. J. Menefee, 

Louisville, Ky. 

2. Portrait of Jouett's wife (veil). Owned by R. J. Menefee, Louis- 

ville, Ky. 

3. Portrait of lady, Miss Allen (Mrs. Rebecca Redd). Owned by 

R. J. Menefee, Louisville, Ky. 

4. Portrait of Jouett's wife (Virginia picture). Owned by R. J. 

Meiiefee, Louisville, Ky. 

5. Portrait, three-quarter length, of old lady (Mrs. Wm. Allen). Owned 

by R. J. Menefee, Louisville, K-y. 

6. Portrait of same (Mrs. Wm. Allen), miniature, gold. Owned by 

R. J. Menefee, Louisville, Ky. 

7. Portrait of Jouett's wife and infant child. Owned by R. J. Men- 

efee, Louisville, Ky. 

8. Portrait of Henry Clay (Morris picture). Owned by J. F. Johnston, 

Lexington, Ky. 

9. Portrait of Col. Edmund H. Taylor, Sr. Owned by Edmund H. 

Taylor, Jr., Frankfort, Ky. 
10. Portrait of Dr. Samuel Brown. Owned by Mrs. Ben. Hardin Helm, 

MElizabethtown, Ky. 
n. Portrait of Charles Sproule. Owned by Mrs. Ben. Hardin Helm, 
Elizabethtown, Ky. 

12. Portrait of Gen. George Rogers Clark. Owned by Col. R. T. Durrett, 

Louisville, Ky. 

13. Portrait of Henry Clay when about forty-five (Logan picture). 

Owned by H. C. McDowell, Lexington, Ky. 

14. Portrait of Dr. Alex. Mitchell. Owned by Mrs. Alvin Frazer, Lex- 

ington, Ky. 



52 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

15. Portrait of boy and girl, sketch in oil of two heads. Owned by Mrs. 

Alvin Frazer, Lexington, Ky. 

16. Miniature (ivory), Wm. Brand, Esq. Owned by Mrs. E. N. War- 

field, Pewee Valley, Ky. 

17. Miniature (ivory), Mrs. Brand. Owned by Mrs. E. N. Warfield, 

Pewee Valley, Ky. 

18. Portrait of Dr. Horace Holley. Owned by Austin Hall, Esq., 

Brooklyn, N. Y. 

19. Portrait of Mr. John Brand (1818). Owned by Mrs. Eliza B. 

Woodward, Lexington, Ky. 

20. Portrait of Mrs. John Brand (1818). Owned by Mrs. Eliza B. Wood- 

ward, Lexington, Ky. 

21. Portrait of child, full length. Owned by Mrs. Ed. Humphrey, Louis- 

ville, Ky. 

22. Portrait of Gov. Isaac Shelby. Owned by Shelby Todd, Esq., 

Louisville, Ky. 

23. Portrait of Mrs. Nanette Smith (canvas). Owned by Mrs. H. C. 

Pindle, Louisville, Ky. 

24. Portrait of Col. James Morrison (canvas). Owned by Mrs. H. C. 

Pindle, Louisville, Ky. 

25. Portrait of H. R. Hill (wood). Owned by Mrs. Barry Coleman. 

26. Three Marys at the Tomb (large copy). Owned by the Cathedral, 

Louisville, Ky. 

27. Portrait of Col. Edward Stockton. Owned by Mrs. S. E. Laird, 

Birmingham, Ala. 

28. Portrait of Mrs. Edward Stockton. Owned by Mrs. S. E. Laird, 

Birmingham, Ala. 

29. Portrait of Col. John Morris. Owned by Mrs. Ann Edgar, Frank- 

fort, Ky. 

30. Portrait of Mrs. Ann Morris. Owned by Mrs. Ann Edgar, Frank- 

fort, Ky. 

31. Portrait of Mrs. Emily Tubman. Owned by Landon Thomas, 

Frankfort, Ky, 

32. Life size, full length of Marquis de La Fayette. State House, Frank- 

fort, Ky. 

33. Portrait of Mrs. John Norton. Owned by Mrs. Geo. W. Norton, 

Lexington, Ky. 

34. Portrait of Dr. B. W. Dudley. Owned by Dr. Robt. Peter, Lex- 

ington, Ky. 



Matthew Harris Jouett 



53 



35. Portrait of Anne Pope at fifteen, later wife of Larz. Anderson. Owned 

by Misses Anderson, Dayton, O. 

36. Sketch of Peter Grayson. Owned by R. J. Menefee, Louis- 

ville, Ky. 

37. Portrait of Daniel Weisiger (wood). Owned by A. J. Alexander, 

Woodford, Ky., Spring Station. 

38. Portrait of Mrs. Daniel Weisiger (wood). Owned by A. J. Alexander, 

Woodford, Ky., Spring Station. 

39. Pen sketch, Mother and Children. Owned by R. J. Menefee, Louis- 

ville, Ky. 

40. Pen sketch, Historical Carpenter (rough study). Owned by R. J. 

Menefee, Louisville, Ky. 

41. Portrait of Rev. James Blythe. Owned by Miss Margaret Blythe, 

Hartford, Conn. 

42. Portrait of Mrs. Margaret Blythe. Owned by Miss Margaret Blythe, 

Hartford, Conn. 

43. Portrait of Hon. John Brown. Owned by John Mason Brown, Louis- 

ville, Ky. , and in old homestead at Frankfort, Ky. 

44. Portrait of Hon. James Brown. Owned by John Mason Brown, 

Louisville, Ky. , and in old homestead at Frankfort, Ky. 

45. Portrait of Col. John Allen, who fell at River Raisin (painted from 

memory after death). Owned by John Allen Murray, Cloverport, Ky. 

46. Portrait of Hugh Allen. Owned by Howard Hunter, Louisville, Ky. 

47. Portrait of Henderson Allen. Owned by Howard Hunter, Louis- 

ville, Ky. 

48. Portrait of Judge Robert Crittenden. Owned by Mrs. A. J. Edgar, 

Frankfort, Ky. 

49. Portrait of Mrs. Robert Crittenden (1823). Owned by Mrs. A. J. 

Edgar, Frankfort, Ky. 

50. Portrait of Judge Harry Innis (painted from memory). Owned by 

Capt. Harry I. Todd, Frankfort, Ky. (George D. Todd, Louis- 
ville, Ky.) 

51. Portrait of Mrs. Anne Innis. Owned by Capt. Harry I. Todd, 

Frankfort, Ky. (George D. Todd, Louisville, Ky. ) 

52. Portrait of Justice Thomas Todd, United States Supreme Court. 

Owned by Capt. Harry I. Todd, Frankfort, Ky. (George D. Todd, 
Louisville, Ky. ) 
53- 



54 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

54. Portrait of Mrs. A. K. Woolley. Owned by Mrs. Peter White, Cin- 

cinnati, O. 

55. Portrait of Mrs. Col. John Todd (wood). Owned by Mrs. Margaret 

Wickliffe Preston. 

56. Portrait of Mrs. Wm. Preston {nee Margaret Wickliffe) in early child- 

hood. Owned by Mrs. Margaret Wickliffe Preston. 

57. Portrait of Mrs. John Preston (nee Mary H. Wickliffe) in early child- 

hood. Owned by Mrs. Margaret Wickliffe Preston. 

58. Portrait (miniature) of John Speed Smith. Owned by Gen. Clay Smith, 

Louisville, Ky. 

59. Portrait of Rev. Mr. McCoy. Owned by his grandson, J. C. McCoy, 

of Missouri. 

60. Portrait of Col. John Postlewait. Owned by W. Frank Pragoff, 

Louisville, Ky. 

61. Portrait of Mrs. Wm. S. Dallam and infant child, Letitia (painted in 

1818 for Maj. Wm. S. Dallam). Owned by Dr. Robt. Peter, 
Lexington, Ky. 

62. Portrait (group) of Mrs. Robt. Peter and sister, Elizabeth Dallam, when 

girls of eleven and five years. (Unfinished.) Owned by Dr. Robt. 
Peter, Lexington, Ky. 

63. Portrait of Mrs. Samuel Meredith, sister of Hon. John Breckinridge 

(painted for Maj. W. S. Dallam in 1826). Owned by Dr. Robt. 
Peter, Lexington, Ky. 

64. Portrait of Dr. B. W. Dudley, the great surgeon, about 1825 to 1826 

(painted for Maj. W. S. Dallam). Owned by Dr. Robt. Peter, 
Lexington, Ky. 

65. Portrait of Mrs. Dr. Joseph Boswell (23x38^). Owned by Mrs. 

Benjamin Gratz, Lexington, Ky. 

66. Portrait of Miss Maria Cecil Gist, later Mrs. Benj. Gratz. Owned 

by Dr. Wm. T. Barry, Chicago, 111. 

67. Portrait of Mrs. Wm. T. Barry. Owned by Dr. Wm. T. Barry, 

Chicago, 111. 

68. Portrait of Miss Mary Barry (a child six years old). Owned by Dr. 

Wm. T. Barry, Chicago, 111. 

69. Portrait of Mrs. Rainey. Owned by H. C. Rainey, Mt. Sterling, Ky. 

70. Portrait of Dr. Joseph Scott. Owned by Mrs. Holloway, Ray Co., Mo. 

71. Portrait of Mrs. Dr. Joseph Scott. Owned by Mrs. Holloway, Ray 

Co., Mo. 



Matthew Harris Jouett 55 

72. Miniature of John Postlewait (ivory, gold). Owned by Mrs. W. G. 

Pragoff, Louisville, Ky, 

73. Portrait of Matthew Jouett, artist. Owned by R. J. Menefee, Louis- 

ville, Ky. 

74. Miniature (ivory) of Thornton Lewis (1815). Owned by Mrs. Thornton 

Lewis, Winchester, Ky. 

75. Miniature (ivory) of Stephen Lewis (1815). Owned by Mrs. Thornton 

Lewis, Winchester, Ky. 

76. Portrait of La Fayette. (Bust he painted from life for C. L. Win. 

Rodes.) Owned by Mrs. Pauline Rodes, Woodlawn, near Rich- 
mond, Ky. 

77. Portrait of Col. Cuthbert Bullitt. Owned by Cuthbert Bullitt, Esq., 

Louisville, Ky. 

78. Portrait of Robert Crockett, of Kentucky (wood). Owned by Mrs. J. 

B. Crockett, Oakland, Cal. 

79. Portrait of Mrs. Robert Crockett (wood). Owned by Mrs. J. B. 

Crockett, Oakland, Cal. 
80. 

8 1. Portrait of Mrs. Margaret Fletcher (net Nicholas), 241^x28. Owned 

by Mrs. Dr. D. O. Davies, Henderson, Ky. 

82. Portrait of Mrs. Dr. Ewing. Owned by Mrs. Henry L. Pope, Louis- 

ville, Ky. 

83. Portrait of Peter B. Ormsby. Owned by Dr. Ormsby Gray, Louis. 

ville, Ky. 
8 4 . 

85. 
86. 
87. 

88. Portrait of Gen. Robt. P. Letcher. Owned by Mrs. A. B. Hopper, 

Lancaster, Ky. 

89. Portrait of Dr. Samuel Brown (%). Owned by John M. Brown, 

Louisville, Ky. 

90. Portrait of Preston W. Brown. Owned by Dr. Preston B. Scott, 

Louisville, Ky. 

91. Portrait of James Masterson. 

92. Portrait of Thomas Jefferson (copy), attributed to Jouett. (Stuart's.) 

Owned by W. C. P. Breckinridge, Lexington, Ky. 

93. Portrait of David Castleman. Owned by Gen. John B. Castleman, 

Louisville, Ky. 



56 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

94. Portrait of Rev. John Breckinridge. Owned by Gen. John B. Castle- 

man, Louisville, Ky. 

95. Portrait of Dr. N. A. Gait. Owned by Mrs. S. F. Chipley, Pensa- 

cola, Fla. 

96. Portrait of Miss Matilda Maupin. Owned by Mr. Arthur Brown, 

Louisville, Ky. 

97- 
98. 

99. Portrait of Gov. Geo. Madison, of Kentucky. Owned by Mrs. P. 
Blair Lee, Silver Spring, Md. 

100. Portrait of Mr. Frank Preston Blair, Sr. (burned). Owned by Mrs. 

S. P. Blair Lee, Silver Spring, Md. 

101. Portrait of Miss Betsy Downing. Owned by Mrs. Henriette Craig, 

Lexington, Ky. 

102. Portrait of Mrs. John Jordan (nee von Phul). Thought to have gone 

into the family of her brother, Henry von Phul, St. Louis, Mo. 

103. Portrait of Mrs. Nathaniel Hart. Owned by Miss Lizzie Hart, Lex- 

ington, Ky. 

104. Portrait of Mrs. Mary Ann Castleman (nee Breckinridge). Owned by 

Mrs. Dr. Wm. Webb, St. Louis, Mo. 
105. 

106. Portrait of Mr. A. F. Hawkins. Owned by Samuel F. Leary, near 

Midway, Ky. 

107. Portrait of Mrs. A. F. Hawkins. Owned by Samuel F. Leary, near 

Midway, Ky. 

1 08. Portrait of Gen. Wm. O. Butler. Owned in Carrollton, Ky. 

109. Portrait of Asa Blanchard. Owned by A. B. Gatewood, Covington, Ky. 
no. Portrait of Mrs. Rebecca Blanchard. Owned by A. B. Gatewood, 

Covington, Ky. 

in. Portrait of Horatio F. Blanchard. Owned by A. B. Gatewood, 
Covington, Ky. 

112. Portrait of Mrs. Mary L. Gatewood. Owned by A. B. Gatewood, 

Covington, Ky. 

113. Portrait of Col. Geo. P. Jouett as a lad of ten years (sketch in oil). 

Owned by R. J. Menefee, Louisville, Ky. 

114. Portrait of Dr. W. C. Gait. Owned by Dr. W. H. Gait, Louis- 

ville, Ky. 

115. Portrait of Mrs. Eliza Turner. Owned by Mrs. John T. McMurran, 

Woodland, near Natchez, Miss. 






Matthew Harris Jouett 57 

116. Portrait of Mary Louisa Turner (now Mrs. John T. McMurran). Owned 

by Mrs. John T. McMurran, Woodland, near Natchez, Miss. 

117. Portrait of Wm. B. Griffith. Owned by Mrs. John T. McMurran, 

Woodland, near Natchez, Miss. 

118. Portrait of Mrs. Theodosia T. Griffith and daughter, Mary. Owned 

by Mrs. John T. McMurran, Woodland, near Natchez, Miss. 

119. Portrait of Judge E. Turner. Owned by Mrs. John T. McMurran, 

Woodland, near Natchez, Miss. 

1 20. Portrait of Gen. John A. Quitman (painted for himself). Owned by 

Mrs. Antonia Quitman Lovell, Palmyra Plantation, Ogden, Warren 
Co., Miss. 

121. Portrait of Eliza Turner Quitman. Owned by Mrs. Antonia Quitman, 

Ogden, Miss. 

122. Portrait of Mrs. A. K. Woolley (nee Wickliffe). Owned by Mrs. Peter 

A. White, Cincinnati, O. 

123. Portrait of Dr. A. P. Merrill. Owned by Hon. A. P. Merrill, near 

Natchez, Miss. 

124. Portrait of Mrs. A. P. Merrill. Owned by Hon. A. P. Merrill, near 

Natchez, Miss. 

125. Portrait of John Newton Helm (1826). Owned by Mrs. C. R. Railey, 

224 Eighth St., New Orleans, La. 

126. Portrait of Mrs. John Newton Helm (painted for Mr. Thomas Helm, 

of Mississippi). Owned by Mrs. C. R. Railey, 224 Eighth St., 
New Orleans, La. 

127. Portrait of Dr. Emmons, of Kentucky. Owned by Mrs. Varina B. 

Gaither, Vidalia, La. 

128. Portrait of Hon. Geo. M. Bibb. Owned by Mrs. Fannie Burnley, 

Frankfort, Ky. 

129. Portrait of Mrs. Geo. M. Bibb, daughter of Gen. Scott. Owned by 

Mrs. Fannie Burnley, Frankfort, Ky. 

130. Miniature (ivory) of Gen. Charles Scott. Owned by Mrs. Fannie 

Burnley, Frankfort, Ky. 

131. Portrait of Mrs. John Breckinridge (nee Mary Hoffman Cabell, mother 

of Joseph Cabell). Owned by Mrs. Mary Bullock, Lexington, Ky. 

132. Portrait of Joseph Cabell Breckinridge, son of John Breckinridge, 

father of John C. Breckinridge. Owned by Cabell B. Bullock, 
Lexington, Ky. 

133. Portrait of Mrs. Dr. John M. Scott. Owned by Mrs. J. Alexander 

Grant, Frankfort, Ky. 



5 8 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

134. Portrait of Martin Blake. Owned by Henry V. Sanders, Louisville, Ky. 

135. Portrait of Rev. Dr. Horace Holley. Owned by W. E. Burr, St. 

Louis, Mo. 

136. Miniature of Mary Bell Mitchell, infant. Owned by Mrs. Oliver 

Frazer, Lexington, Ky. 

137. Portrait of Mrs. Betsy Mitchell. Owned by Mrs. Oliver Frazer, 

Lexington, Ky. 

138. Portrait of Samuel H. Woodson. Owned by Mrs. Anna Meade Letcher, 

Nicholasville, Ky. 

139. Portrait of Gen. Geo. Trotter (from memory). Owned by Mr. Sam. 

F. Leary, Midway, Ky. 

140. Portrait of Lawrence Leary (two of same). Owned by Mr. Sam. F. 

Leary, Midway, Ky. 

141. Portrait of Lawrence Leary. 

142. Portrait of James Masterson (small full length). Owned by R. A. 

Metcalf, Lexington, Ky. 

143. Portrait of Samuel McDowell, first Marshal of Kentucky. 

144. Portrait of Wm. Starling, Revolutionary soldier. Owned by Mrs. 

Pepper, Frankfort, Ky. 

145. Portrait of Wm. Starling, son of above. Owned by Mrs. Pepper, 

Frankfort, Ky. 

146. Portrait of Mrs. Wm. Starling, wife of the latter. Owned by Mrs. 

Pepper, Frankfort, Ky. 

147. Portrait of Judge John J. Marshall. Owned by Mrs. F. C. Marshall, 

Cecilian Cottage, Hardin Co., Ky. 

148. Portrait of Mrs. John J. Marshall. Owned by Mrs. F. C. Marshall, 

Cecilian Cottage, Hardin Co., Ky. 

149. Portrait of Humphrey Marshall at five years of age. Owned by Mrs. 

F. C. Marshall, Cecilian Cottage, Hardin Co., Ky. 

150. Portrait of Lewis Marshall at eighteen months (on wood and well 

preserved). Owned by Mrs. F. C. Marshall, Cecilian Cottage, 
Hardin Co., Ky. 

151. Portrait of David Castleman, Lexington, Ky. (wood). Owned by Judge 

S. M. Breckinridge, St. Louis, Mo. 

152. Portrait of Rev. John Breckinridge, D. D. (canvas). Owned by Judge 

S. M. Breckinridge, St. Louis, Mo. 
153- 
154- 
155- 






Matthew Harris Jouett 59 

156. Portrait of Rev. Wm. L. Breckinridge. Owned by W. L. Breck- 

inridge, St. Louis, Mo. 

157. Portrait of Mrs. Fannie P. Breckinridge. Owned by W. L. Breck- 

inridge, St. Louis, Mo. 

158. Portrait of Wm. D. Payne. Owned by Mr. Ward Payne, Owensboro, Ky. 

159. Portrait of Gen. Leslie Combs. 

160. Portrait of Mrs. Leslie Combs. 

161. Portrait of Prof. John Roche (1821-22). Owned by Mrs. Sarah E. 

Roche, near Georgetown, Scott Co., Ky. 

162. Portrait of Mrs. Wilkinson. Owned by Mrs. C. C. Young, Danville, Ky. 

163. Portrait of Judge Andrew McKinley. Owned by Mrs. A. P. Hum- 

phrey, Louisville, Ky. 

164. Portrait of Maj. James G. McKinney. Owned by Mrs. Mag. Smither, 

Versailles, Ky. 

165. Portrait of Maj. John G. McKinney. Owned by Mrs. Mag. Smither, 

Versailles, Ky. 

1 66. Portrait of Mrs. Martin D. Harding, mother of Col. Harding, who 

fell at Buena Vista. Owned by Mrs. Ellen Walworth, Buena Vista, 
near Saratoga, N. Y. 
167. 

168. Miniature of Mrs. John W. Hunt. Owned by Col. Charlton H. 

Morgan, Lexington, Ky. 

169. Portrait of Mrs. James Brown, sister of Mrs. Henry Clay. Owned 

by Mrs. James B. Clay, Lexington, Ky. 

170. Portrait of Thomas Hart. Owned by Mrs. Wm. G. Talbot, Paris, Ky. 

171. Portrait of Mrs. Eleanor Hart. Owned by Mrs. Wm. G. Talbot, 

Paris, Ky. 

172. Portrait of Mrs. Thomas Pindle Hart. Owned by Mrs. Wm. G. 

Talbot, Paris, Ky. 

173. Portrait of Col. Wm. Rodes at twenty-eight (wood). Owned by L. 

Brodhead, Woodburn, Ky. 

174. Portrait of Dr. Samuel Breck, of Alabama. 

175. Miniature (ivory) of A. L. Lewis. Owned by Mrs. Lewis, of Clark 

Co., Ky. 

176. Portrait of Gov. Isaac Shelby (attributed to Jouett). Owned by Wm. 

M. Irvine, Richmond, Ky. 

177. Portrait of Col. Wm. Rodes. Owned by Mrs. Pauline Rodes, Wood- 

lawn, near Richmond, Ky. 



60 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

178. Miniature of Capt. Nat. G. Hart (from memory). Owned by Miss 

Lizzie B. Hart, Lexington, Ky. 

179. Portrait of Mrs. Nat. B. Hart. Owned by Miss Lizzie B. Hart, 

Lexington, Ky. 

180. Portrait of Mrs. Maria Innis Todd. Owned by Mrs. Robt. A. Waller, 

Chicago, 111. 

181. Portrait of Mrs. Sarah Crittenden, first wife of John J. Owned by 

Mrs. E. H. Taylor, Frankfort, Ky. 

182. Miniature (ivory) of Colonel Meade. Formerly in possession of Mrs. 

Boumar, Versailles, Ky. 

183. Portrait of Justice Thomas Todd. Owned by James M. Todd, 

Frankfort, Ky. 

184. Portrait of Mrs. Lucy P. Todd. Owned by James M. Todd, Frank- 

fort, Ky. 

185. Portrait of Hon. John J. Crittenden. Owned by Harry Todd, Lex- 

ington, Ky. 

186. Portrait of Mrs. John McKinney, Jr. Owned by Harry Todd, Lex- 

ington, Ky. 

187. Portrait of Henry Crittenden. Owned by Governor T. T. Crittenden, 

Kansas City, Mo. 

188. Portrait of Mrs. Garnet Duncan (nee Patsy Martin). Owned by Col. 

Blanton Duncan, California. 

189. Miniature (ivory) of Rev. Joseph Cabell Harrison. Owned by 

Mrs. Maria Clarkson, Humboldt, Kansas. 

190. Portrait of Judge A. K. Woolley. Owned by Mrs. Peter A. White, 

Cincinnati, Ohio. 

191. Portrait of Senator Isham Talbot. Owned by William T. Dudley, 

Frankfort, Ky. 
192. 

193. Portrait of Mrs. John Morris (1826). Owned by Mrs. A. J. Edgar, 

Frankfort, Ky. 

194. Portrait of Judge Harry Innis (1817). Owned by Mrs. Robert H. 

Garrett, New Orleans, La. 

195. Portrait of Col. Thomas Smith. Owned by Miss Lillian May Gray. 

196. Portrait of Mr. Wm. W. Worsley. Owned by Thomas S. Kennedy, 

Louisville, Ky. 

197. Portrait of Mrs. Wm. W. Worsley. Owned by Thomas S. Kennedy, 

Louisville, Ky. 



Matthew Harris Jouett 61 

198. Miniature (ivory) of Maj. John S. Martin. Owned by Thomas S. Ken- 

nedy, Louisville, Ky. 

199. Portrait of Mrs. John S. Martin (nee Blanton). Owned by Thomas 

S. Kennedy, Louisville, Ky. 

200. Miniature (ivory) of Thomas Hart. Owned Mrs. Ella A. Harris, 

Paris, Ky. 

201. Portrait of Mrs. Eleanor Hart. Owned by Mrs. Ella A. Harris, 

Paris, Ky. 

202. Portrait of Mrs. Jesse Cledsoe. Owned by Anderson Gratz, Kirk- 

wood, Mo. 
203. 

204. Portrait of Walter Carr, of Kentucky. Owned by Walter C. Carr, 

St. Louis, Mo. 

205. Portrait of Mrs. Benjamin Gratz (nee Maria Cecil Gist). Owned by 

Mrs. E. B. Blair Lee, Silver Spring, Md. 

206. Portrait of Rev. Robt. J. Breckinridge (1824). Owned by Judge 

Robt. J. Breckinridge, Danville, Ky. 

207. Portrait of Mrs. Robt. J. Breckinridge. Owned by Judge Robt. J. 

Breckinridge, Danville, Ky. 

208. Portrait of Gen. Francis Preston. Owned by Judge Robt. J. Breck- 

inridge, Danville, Ky. 

209. Portrait of Hon. J. Cabell Breckinridge. Owned by Mrs. Bullock, 

Lexington, Ky. 

210. Portrait of Hon. J. Cabell Breckinridge. Owned by Mrs. Bullock, 

Lexington, Ky. 
210 y*. Portrait of Mrs. J. Cabell Breckinridge. 

211. Portrait of Mrs. Mary S. Breckinridge, wife of Cabell Breckinridge. 

Owned by Mrs. Bullock, Lexington, Ky. 

212. Portrait of Rev. John Breckinridge. Owned by Judge Daniel M. 

Breckinridge, St. Louis, Mo. 

213. Portrait of John Breckinridge (from memory). Owned by Mrs. John 

C. Breckinridge, Lexington, Ky. 

214. Portrait of Gen. Peter B. Porter. Owned by Hon. Peter A. Porter, 

Niagara Falls, N. Y. 

215. Portrait of Mrs. Peter B. Porter. Owned by Hon. Peter A. Porter, 

Niagara Falls, N. Y. 

216. Portrait of Gov. John Pope, of Kentucky. Owned by Mrs. Florida 

Tinstall, San Antonio, Texas. 



62 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

217. Portrait of Thomas Prather. Owned by Mrs. Kate P. Winston, 

Louisville, Ky. 

218. Portrait of Gen. Thomas Bodley. Owned by Mrs. E. B. Owsley, 

Louisville, Ky. 

219. Miniature (ivory) of Fortunatus Cosby. Owned by Mrs. Ellen B. Car- 

penter, Louisville, Ky. 

220. Miniature of Mrs. E. P. Humphrey (nee Catherine Prather) when six 

years of age, fy length. Owned by Ed. W. C. Humphrey, Louis- 
ville, Ky. 

221. Portrait of Gov. Isaac Shelby (Replica). Owned by Col. R. T. Durrett, 

Louisville, Ky. 

222. Portrait of Hon. John Brown (Replica). Owned by Col. R. T. Durrett, 

Louisville, Ky. 
223. 

224. Portrait of Dr. Walter Brashear (canvas, 28 x 22). Owned by Mrs. 

F. C. Lawrence, Morgan City, La. 

225. Portrait of Mrs. Walter Brashear, 1810 or earlier (28x22, canvas; 

damaged). Owned by Mrs. F. C. Lawrence, Morgan City. La. 
226. 

227. Portrait of Mrs. Vannerson (destroyed). Owned by Jo. Davis, on 

Human Plantation, La. 

228. Portrait of Mr. Wood Hawkins. Owned by , Missouri. 

229. Portrait of Mrs. Wood Hawkins. Owned by , Missouri. 

230. Portrait of Dr. James C. Johnston (wood). Owned by Col. R. W. 

Woolley, Louisville, Ky. 

231. Portrait of Gen. G. W. Chambers. Owned by Mrs. G. W. Chambers, 

Pleasure Ridge Park, Jefferson County, Ky. 

232. Portrait of Mrs. Gen. G. W. Chambers. Owned by Mrs. G. W. 

Chambers, Pleasure Ridge Park, Jefferson County, Ky. 

233. Portrait of Mrs. Sally Robards Jouett (mother of Matthew Jouett), 

21 x 28. Owned by Mrs. H. Clay White, near Williamstown, Ky. 

234. Portrait of Mrs. Elizabeth Hardin (sister of the artist Jouett). 

Owned by Mrs. J. A. Crawford, Covington, Ky. 

235. Portrait of Miss Dumesnil. Owned by Gen. Dan. Lindsay, Frank- 

fort, Ky. 

236. Portrait of Jouett, the artist. 

237. Portrait of the artist's wife. 

In his best manner. The two best pictures he ever painted. 
Burned in the Academy of Fine Arts at Philadephia, June n, 
1845. 
238. 






Matthew Harris Jouett 63 

239. Portrait of Gen. Martin D. Hardin. Owned by Mrs. M. McKee, 

Frankfort, Ky . 

240. Portrait of John H. Hanna (36x29). Owned by Mrs. J. P. Thorn, 

Baltimore, Md. 

241. Portrait of Maj. David Trimble. Owned by Judge Wm. T. McClin- 

tick, Chillicothe, Ohio. 

242. Portrait of Col. Wm. Trimble (1821; 22x27). Owned by Mrs. J. 

H. Thompson, Hillsboro, Ohio. 

243. Portrait of Joseph H. Hawkins. Owned by Joseph H. Sanders, 

near Ghent, Ky. 

244. Portrait of Mrs. Joseph H. Hawkins. Owned by Joseph H. San- 

ders, near Ghent, Ky. 

245. Portrait of Mrs. Anne Nicholas Sanders. Owned by Lewis Sanders, 

New York. 

246. Portrait of Mrs. Gen. Jacob Castleman. Owned by Mrs. Caroline B. 

Smith, Louisville, Ky. 

247. Portrait of James L. Hickman. Owned by Wm. S. Hickman, near 

Trenton, Ky. 

248. Portrait of Maj. Gabriel Tandy. Owned by Mrs. Anna C. Tandy, 

Meadow Brook, near St. Louis, Mo. 

249. Portrait of Mrs. Gabriel Tandy. (Very fine.) Owned by Mrs. Anna 

C. Tandy, Meadow Brook, near St. Louis, Mo. 

250. Portrait of Robt. Wickliffe (1822). Supposed to be in possession of 

one of the grandchildren of Chas. Caldwell, died at Danville, Ky. 

251. Portrait of Robt. Wickliffe (1824). Presented to his nephew, Martin 

Ewing, of Mississippi, and in possession of his son. 

252. Portrait of Gov. Isaac Shelby, painted for Robt. Wickliffe. Pre- 

sented to his daughter, Mrs. Fishback, and supposed to be in the 
Shelby family. 

253. Portrait of Col. James Morrison, of Lexington (canvas, 22x26). Owned 

by Col. James Morrison Hawes, Covington, Ky. 

254. Portrait of Col. Solomon P. Sharp (killed by Beauchamp at Frank- 

fort in 1824). Owned by Mrs. Annie Grundy Sharp, Bards- 
town, Ky. 

255. Portrait of Robert Todd (canvas). Owned by Mrs. Matilda P. Logan, 

Louisville, Ky. 

256. Portrait of Miss Theodosia Prevost. Owned by Mrs. L. Breckinridge, 

Alton, 111. 

257. Portrait of Gen. Peter B. Porter and wife. Owned by Mrs. L. 

Breckinridge, Alton, 111. 



64 The Old Masters of the Bhtegrass 

258. Portrait of Mrs. Letitia B. Porter. Owned by Mrs. L. Breckinridge, 

Alton, 111. 

259. Portrait of Col. James Morris, of Lexington (canvas, 24x30). Owned 

by D. H. Holmes, Holmesdale, near Covington, Ky. 

260. Portrait of Thomas Jefferson (wood, 20 x 30). Owned by D. H. Holmes, 

Holmesdale, near Covington, Ky. 
261. 

262. Portrait of Gen. Montford Wells, painted 1825 at Lexington. (Con- 

sidered one of his best.) In possession of his daughter, Mrs. 
Jones, of Alexandria, Va. 

262^. Portrait of Gov. Isaac Shelby (canvas). Owned by Thomas H. 
Shelby, Fayette County, Ky. 

263. Portrait of Gov. Isaac Shelby (wood). Owned by J. T. Shelby, Lex- 

ington, Ky. (Bought by O. Frazer from the estate of Mrs. E. 
Warfield.) 

264. Portrait of a boy, Master Logan. Owned by Miss Mag. C. Logan, 

Woodford County, Ky. 

265. Portrait of Dr. Weisiger. Owned by L. H. Blanton, Indianapolis, Ind. 

266. Portrait of Mrs. D. Weisiger (panel, walnut). Owned by L. H. Blan- 

ton, Indianapolis, Ind. 

267. Portrait of Mrs. Jane Trimble (canvas). Owned by Dr. Rodney T. 

Trimble, New Vienna, Ohio. 

268. Portrait of Col. Wm. A. Trimble, U. S. Senator from Ohio 1821 

(canvas). Owned by Dr. Rodney T. Trimble, New Vienna, Ohio. 

269. Portrait of Judge Thomas Todd. Owned by Thomas Todd, Shelby- 

ville, Ky. 

270. Portrait of Henry Clay. (Mr. Clay thought this best portrait painted 

of him.) Presented by Mr. Clay to Wm. Caldwell, owner of White 
Sulphur Springs, where it was in good condition in 1881 in pos- 
session of Mrs. Caldwell, daughter-in-law of Mr. C. 
271. 

272. Miniature (ivory) of Wm. S. Waller. Owned by Mrs. Clifton Breck- 

inridge, No. 218 Capital Street, Washington City, D. C. 

273. Portrait of Chas. D. Morton (painted 1815). Owned by Mrs. 

Hermia H. Hollingsworth, Mobile, Ala. 

274. Portrait of Peyton Short, Esq. (painted 1826). Owned by Mrs. C. 

M. Short, Louisville, Ky. 

275. Portrait of Mrs. Wm. Waller. Owned by Mrs. Susanna Lees, Hazel- 

wood, near High Bridge, N. Y. 

276. Portrait of Mrs. John J. Crittenden. Owned by Mrs. Robt. Waller, 









Matthew Harris Jouett 65 

277. Portrait of Hon. John Scott (first Congressman for Missouri), canvas, 

3x2. Owned by Mrs. Samuel M. Wilson, 711 Pine Street, San 
Francisco, Cal. 

278. Portrait of Mrs. Margaretta Fletcher, daughter of Geo. Nicholas, of 

Kentucky. Owned by A. W. Bascom, Mt. Sterling, Ky. 

279. Portrait of Mrs. Margaretta Fletcher, daughter of Geo. Nicholas, of 

Kentucky. Owned by Mrs. Clara Hawes, A. F. Seminary, Staun- 
ton, Va. 

280. Portrait of Dr. William Hall Richardson (on wood ; painted 1826). 

Owned by Dr. E. B. Richardson, Mt. Sterling, Ky. 

281. Portrait of Mrs. Judith Ann Richardson (canvas). Owned by Dr. E. 

B. Richardson, Mt. Sterling, Ky. 

282. Miniature (ivory) of Mrs. Col. C. S. Todd (painted previous to 1816). 

Owned by Mrs. John Carter, New Orleans, La. 

283. Portrait of Daniel Weisiger, of Kentucky. Owned by Mrs. Josephine 

Threlkeld (nee Weisiger), Mission Valley, DeWitt County, Texas. 

284. Portrait of Mrs. Daniel Weisiger. Owned by Mrs. Josephine Threl- 

keld (nee Weisiger), Mission Valley, DeWitt County, Texas. 

285. Portrait of Maj. Alex. G. Morgan, who fell at Buena Vista. Owned 

by Col. Alex. G. Morgan, Green Cove Springs, Fla. 

286. Portrait of Ann America Morgan (his wife, canvas, 27 x 32). Owned 

by Col. Alex. G. Morgan, Green Cove Springs, Fla. 

287. Miniature (ivory) of Capt. Robinson DeHart. Owned by Capt. Wm. 

DeHart, McComb, Miss. 

288. Portrait of Dr. Mann Satterwhite (wood, 20 x 26). Owned by Dr. Thos. 

P. Satterwhite, Louisville, Ky. 

289. Portrait of Miss Sarah Satterwhite (wood, 20x26). Owned by Dr. 

Thos. P. Satterwhite, Louisville, Ky. 

290. Portrait of Mrs. Margaretta Fletcher, daughter of Geo. Nicholas 

(wood). Owned by Geo. Nicholas, Shelbyville, Ky. 

291. Portrait of Dr. Samuel Buck (replica of L. Brodhead's picture, 

Spring Station). Owned by Mrs. Edwin Ford, Canton, Miss. 

292. Portrait of Dr. Richard Pindle. Owned by F. H. Pindle, Esq., 

Lebanon, Mo. 

293. Portrait of Dr. Richard Pindle (burned in Missouri, 1886). Owned 

by Mrs. Milton Smith, Dallas, Texas. 

294. Miniature (ivory) of Gov. Charles Scott (one of Jouett's very early 

pictures). Owned by Mrs. Burnley, Frankfort, Ky. 

295. Portrait of Gen. Thomas Marshall. Owned by Mrs. John C. Hern- 

don, Louisville, Ky. 



66 The Old Masters of the Blue.grass 

296. Portrait of Hon. Garnett Duncan (canvas, oval ; one of Jouett's very 

best). Owned by Col. Blanton Duncan, Louisville, Ky. 

297. Portrait of Mrs. Patsy W. Martin Duncan (his wife ; wood, square). 

Owned by Col. Blanton Duncan, Louisville, Ky. 

298. Miniature (ivory, gold) of Mrs. Francis Thornton, daughter of Judge 

Harry Innis. Owned by David Starling Forbes, Fredericksburg, Va. 
299. 

300. Portrait of T. Gibson, of Louisiana (1825). Owned by Mrs. S. G. 

Humphreys, Versailles, Ky. 

301. Portrait of Mrs. D. C. Humphreys (1825). Owned by Mrs. S. G. 

Humphreys, Versailles, Ky. 

302. Portrait of John Grimes, artist pupil of Jouett. Owned by New York 

Metropolitan Museum. 
303- 
34- 
305- 
306. 

307. Life-sized head of an old family horse. Owned by R. J. Menefee, 

Louisville, Ky. 

308. Portrait of Judge John Rowan, of Federal Hill, Ky. (24" , and very 

fine). Owned by Mrs. John Rowan, Bardstown, Ky. 

309. Portrait of Col. Archie Dunbar. Owned by Mrs. Julia Dunbar Green, 

Natchez, Miss., or Mrs. Alfred Davis, Pass Christian, Miss. 

310. Portrait of Mr. Samuel Postlewait (ordinary portrait size). Owned 

by Gen. Geo. C. Cochran, St. Paul, Minn. 

311. Portrait of Gen. James Taylor. Owned by Col. John B. Taylor, New- 

port, Ky. 

312. Portrait or Judge Wm. T. Barry. Owned by Dr. Wm. T. Barry, 

Chicago, 111. 

313. Portrait of Gen. Isaac Shelby. Owned by Samuel McGoffin, Esq., 

St. Louis Co., Mo. 

314. Portrait of Mrs. Isaac Shelby. Owned by Samuel McGoffin, Esq., 

St. Louis Co., Mo. 

315. Portrait of Mrs. McGoffin (nee Virginia McAfee, daughter of Gen. 

McAfee, Minister to South America). Owned by Samuel McGoffin, 
Esq., St. Louis Co., Mo. 

316. Portrait of Dr. Geo. Potts. Owned by Gen. Geo. C. Cochran, St. 

Paul, Minn. 

317. Portrait of Mrs. Dr. Geo. Potts (on wood). Owned by Gen. Geo. 

C. Cochran, St. Paul, Minn. 



Matthew Harris Jo^^ett 67 



318. Miniature (ivory) of Maj. John Loving. Owned by John Loving, 

Esq., Louisville, Ky. 

319. Miniature (ivory) of Chas. F. Wing (broken in two pieces). Owned 

by Miss Mary Wing, Louisville, Ky. 

320. Portrait of John Jouett, brother of the artist. Owned by M. Hadin 

Jouett, Mt. Sterling, Ky. 

321. Portrait of Mrs. Elizabeth Jouett Hadin (on wood; good preservation). 

Owned by Mrs. Mary D. Crawford, Covington, Ky. 

322. Portrait of Thomas Smith (wood, life size ; splendid ; one of his 

best. Editor at Lexington). Owned by Mrs. E. Nannett Turner, 
Louisville, Ky. 

323. Miniature (on ivory) of Capt. Paschal Hickman (killed at battle of 

River Raisin). Owned by Mrs. Win. K. Trigg, Lexington, Mo. 

324. Portrait of Capt. Robinson DeHart (canvas, about 22x26; very 

fine, but cracked). Owned by Mrs. Elizabeth Sheppard, 742 Sev- 
enth Street, Louisville, Ky. 

325. Portrait of Mr. Cuddy (25x30, on wood; perfect condition and a 

very fine example). Owned by Mrs. Preston Pope, Louisville, Ky. 

326. Portrait of Dr. Rufus Summerby (canvas, 25x30; fair condition). 

Owned by Mrs. Nest, 1902 Sixth Street, Louisville, Ky. 

327. Portrait of Mrs. R. Summerby. (Excellent condition.) Owned by 

Mrs. Nest, 1902 Sixth Street, Louisville, Ky. 

328. Portrait of Humphrey Marshall, Historian of Kentucky. Owned by 

Mrs. Judith L. Marshall, Louisville, Ky. 

329. Portrait of James Burney. Owned by Mrs. Judith L. Marshall, 

Louisville, Ky. 

330. Portrait of Madame Ansilmie Billiette. (Went from Arkansas to Lex- 

ington to have painted by Jouett.) Owned by Edward Bull, Esq., 
Third Street, Louisville, Ky. 

331. Portrait of Robert S. Todd, early Surveyor. (Painted between 1825 

and 1827. Canvas, portrait size. Good condition.) Owned by 
Mrs. Alice S. Byers, Louisville, Ky. 

332. Portrait of Mrs. Elizabeth Pollock. Owned by Pollock Barbour, Esq., 

but in possession of Mrs. Phil. Barbour, near Louisville, Ky. , 
November, 1890. 

333. Portrait of Wm. Pollock, her son. (Painted at Lexington, Ky., 

between 1820 and 1825, on canvas, portrait size; in fairly good 
condition.) 

334. Portrait of uncle of Mr. Ad. Crisman, Jessamine County, Ky. Owned 

by the nephew in Jessamine County, Ky. 









JOSEPH H. BUSH 



-7 







-7 




JOSEPH H. BUSH. 



From a portrait painted by himself. 



JOSEPH H. BUSH' 

JOSEPH H. BUSH was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, 
in the year 1 794. He was of German descent ; 
his grandparents, Philip and Mary Bush, having 
come from Mannheim, Germany, to Winchester, Virginia, 
about the year 1750. His father was the proprietor of 
a hotel at that place, and among his most distinguished 
guests was Lieutenant Colonel George Washington, who, 
while stopping at this noted inn, was accompanied by 
several of his staff. The host very often spoke with 
enthusiasm of this young officer's noble bearing and 
attractiveness for all who came in contact with him. 

Bishop Mead, in his popular work entitled ' ' Old 
Churches, Ministers, and Families," frequently mentions 
Philip Bush as being one of the best known of the 
Virginia pioneers who emigrated to Kentucky. 

General Cass, in his ' ' France : Its Kings, Court, and 
Government," describes him, as he appeared in 1797, 
as being portly, ruddy, though advanced in life ; while 

1 Read before The FiJson Club, April 2, 1900, 



72 The Old Masters of the Bhiegrass 

the old-fashioned cut of his clothes and his broad- 
brimmed hat caused him to resemble a patriarch of 
olden times. 

When the Duke of Orleans, afterward Louis Philippe, 
King of France, who reigned from 1830-48, left France 
to avoid arrest, he and his two younger brothers stopped 
at Bush's Hotel in 1797. While the first meal was being 
prepared Bush and the King, who had recently visited 
Mannheim, talked in German of the grand old town, 
its people and attractions. One brother being indis- 
posed, the King suggested that he and his party should 
have a private table. This touch of royal exclusiveness 
roused the blood of the old German and caused him 
to exclaim : "If you are too good to eat at the table 
with my other guests, you are too good to eat in my 
house. Begone ! " And they went. 

It was on this tour that the royal party visited 
Kentucky, entering at Maysville and stopping at Lex- 
ington, Louisville, Bardstown, and other points en route 
to Nashville, Tennessee. The Duke was so delighted 
with his reception at Beardstown (as it was then called) 
that forty years after, when King, he sent to Bishop 
Flaget a bell for his Cathedral at that place. Three 
large paintings by Van Dyke (worth their weight in 
gold) were also given by the King to adorn the church. 



Joseph H. Bush 73 

Natural gifts in the fine arts are not infrequently 
directly traceable to ancestors, and this was especially 
so in the early development of the genius of Bush. 
His father, although not a professional portrait painter, 
executed during his leisure moments heads in oil which 
now adorn the walls of the houses of some of his 
descendants. 

To say that the development of his talent for drawing 
greatly interfered with his studies at the district school 
is but history repeating itself, as this is the common 
disposition of youths who have natural gifts for drawing. 

When but a lad he could not resist the temptation 
to make use of his mother's newly painted hearth in 
the exercise of his talent by sketching with charcoal a 
profile of his father. Just as the work was completed 
his mother put in an appearance, and, on viewing it, 
severely reprimanded the boy for so defacing the hearth. 
The father, hearing the altercation, came in and said : 
"Wife, instead of scolding Joe, you should have com- 
mended him for the performance, for it is an evidence 
of genius, and we should be proud of him ; therefore, it 
must not be defaced." Notwithstanding her displeasure, 
she could but concede it a perfect likeness. 

This maiden effort would have done credit to a pro- 
fessional artist, as it was drawn from memory. To 



74 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

hold the image of a face in the mind is a task more 
difficult than the exercise of memory in any other 
direction. This power in young Bush accounts for his 
success in after years in the painting of children. Such 
subjects are exceedingly restless, and the artist must 
memorize their features and their poses. 

The late Rosa Bonheur possessed this faculty in a 
wonderful degree, as is shown in her great picture 
entitled "The Horse Fair." The spirited action of the 
animals in this painting could have only been repre- 
sented from memory. 

The same might be said of Jerome, another great 
French artist, in his representation on canvas of "The 
Chariot Races." 

Children take no interest in the artist's work, conse- 
quently are restive under the strictures of the sitter's 
chair. Not so with the adult, as he has an appreciation 
of the importance of sitting quietly for the artist to 
better portray on canvas his features, and will sit for 
hours without any apparent fatigue. In fact, he is 
much interested in the work while the artist plies his 
brush. Hazlett, in his delightful essays entitled "Table 
Talks," graphically decribes the sympathy between the 
painter and the sitter. He says: "There is a pleasure 
in sitting for one's picture which many persons are not 







MRS. ANSELEM BUCHANAN. 

(Nee WILLIE THOMPSON.) 
Painted by Joseph H. Bush. 



Joseph H. Bush 



75 



aware of. People are coy on this subject at first, 
coquet with it, and pretend not to like it, as is the 
case with other venial indulgences, but they soon get 
over their scruples and become resigned to their fate. 
There is conscious vanity in it, and vanity is the aurum 
potabile in all our pleasures, the true elixir of human 
life. The sitter at first affects an air of indifference, 
throws himself into a slovenly or awkward position, like 
a clown when he goes a -courting for the first time, but 
gradually recovers himself, attempts an attitude, and calls 
up his best looks the moment he receives intimation that 
there is something about him that will do for a picture. 
The beggar in the street is proud to have his picture 
painted, and would almost sit for nothing ; the finest 
lady in the land is as fond of sitting to a favorite artist 
as of seating herself before her looking - glass ; and the 
more so as the glass in this case is sensible of her 
charms, and does all it can to fix or heighten them. 
Kings lay aside their crowns to sit for their portraits, 
and poets their laurels to sit for their busts." 

Honorable Henry Clay, having discovered in Bush fine 
natural talent for drawing, took great interest in him, 
and, desiring that he should have the best aid in its 
development, when the boy was seventeen he persuaded 
his father to send him to Philadelphia. He was all 



76 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

eagerness to go, being stimulated by the success of young 
Matthew H. Jouett. 

Clay himself took him to the city and placed him 
under the tuition of Thomas Sully, who was then of 
national reputation. At the same time Joseph prosecuted 
his academic studies interchangeably with those of the 
fine arts. His preceptor, discovering the latent genius 
of his new disciple, took great interest in him and led 
him to the success in portraiture which he in a few 
years attained. 

After two years' stay in Philadelphia he returned to 
Kentucky and opened a studio in Frankfort, and it was 
not long before he received numerous orders for por- 
traits. From this place he went to Lexington, having 
received commissions from many of the prominent fam- 
ilies of that city. 

After a few years' stay in Lexington he was called 
to Louisville to paint some of her citizens, where he 
permanently located. His winters were passed in New 
Orleans and Natchez, and by request he visited the 
planters of Louisiana, who were fortunate in securing 
his faithful portraits of the members of their households. 

This itineracy proved very remunerative, as he charged 
more for his portraits and was at no expense in living. 
His work was in constant demand through the South, 



Joseph H. Bush 



77 



and he made annual visits to the planters. This he 
continued until the outbreak of the Civil War. 

Unlike the majority of painters, he had an eye to the 
value of money, and consequently judiciously invested 
his surplus, though not to his discomfort, for he was 
always clad in the best tailor-made clothing, and stopped 
at the best hotels, making the Gait House, when in 
Louisville, his home. He loved his profession and 
derived much pleasure from painting, as do other artists 
who do not put to the best use the profits from their 
brush. 

' ' Great artists would not exchange their profession for 
that of any other ; for the most part they are satisfied 
with the remuneration which they receive for their work, 
though often little. They do not envy the rich, for they 
consider themselves richer than the richest. A mind 
schooled by art perceives the emptiness of the life of 
those who consider themselves as the mighty of the earth, 
and whose glory is laid in the coffin with them. What 
is commonly called happiness can not longer allure him 
who is striving after a fame which has no attraction for 
the multitude. " 

Yet the portrait painter's path is not always strewn 
with flowers. The captious critic and the fastidious patron 
are ever snares in his way. To the former the execution 



78 7%e Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

is defective, and to the latter the resemblance is not 
true to life. 

If ninety - nine commend the fidelity of the portrait, 
and one person condemns it, the patron is dissatisfied. 
An American artist was at one time sorely tried by a 
lady customer, and but for a clever strategy and its suc- 
cessful execution would have .been compelled to abandon 
the work. 

He was commissioned by a lady in the higher walks 
of life to paint a portrait of her husband, which work 
the painter undertook with more than usual interest, as 
the husband had a strong, characteristic face. Believing 
his work to be a success, the lady was invited to see 
it. To the artist's great disappointment she expressed 
much dissatisfaction on seeing it. The objection was it 
did not do her husband justice. 

The artist believed he could beautify to her satisfaction 
by softening the lines of the face and modifying the 
slight corrugation of the brow. Promising to make these 
changes, he invited her to come back the next day. The 
next morning she acknowledged a slight improvement, 
but not yet up to what she wanted. 

The painter, fearing to lose the likeness by further 
alteration, happily thought of a device which would prove 
the correctness of his work. He therefore asked the 



Joseph H. Bush 79 

sitter the next morning to place himself in a sitting 
posture behind the frame which had contained the 
portrait. The husband, entering into the spirit of 
the strategy, took the desired position. A canvas was 
placed to hide the lower extremities. When his wife 
entered she exclaimed on seeing the life picture, 
"Why, it is worse than ever! I would not have that 
horrid thing on my walls ! " To this the living picture 
responded, ' ' I guess you would n't. " After this it is 
hardly necessary to say the oil portrait was accepted 
and paid for. 

No artist was more wedded to his profession than 
was Bush. This may account, in a large measure, for 
his bachelorhood. Although fond of the society of 
women, it is not positively known that he ever fell a 
victim to the charms of the gentler sex, though there 
is a rumor to the contrary. When the writer, who was 
himself an artist, and who had a studio in Louisville 
not far from Bush's, made known to the bachelor artist 
his purpose of becoming a benedict, he met with the 
remonstrance that he thought the cares of a family would 
greatly retard his advancement in art. The statement 
of the writer that the great masters, Rubens and Van 
Dyke, were married, brought forth a response, "Well, 
they might have been better painters had they remained 



8o The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

single." This logic, however, did not prevail, and the 
master painter -was a witness to the nuptials. 

Bush was an indefatigable worker, and did not, like 
many artists, await the capricious moods of genius, but 
as his interest in the work increased, inspiration came 
with it. In consequence he was expeditious and his 
execution was uniform, whether he painted directly from 
nature or from photographs. 

While a portrait copied from a photograph did not 
inspire him as painting a living subject, he often said that 
it had its own compensation, in that he did not have to 
wait upon the dilatory sitter, and therefore was enabled 
to finish his work with more celerity. Then, too, it 
multiplied his orders. 

A portrait of a relative or friend is by most persons 
not valued until after the death of the subject. Hence 
the photograph is necessary to its accomplishment, and 
its perishable nature increases the desire of persons 
to have the faces of their loved ones perpetuated on 
canvas. 

He could not, like other experienced artists, rely upon 
the correctness of the drawing of the photograph, as they 
are always out of focus. The distortions of the sun 
pictures artists will ever have to contend with until the 
lens is constructed, if possible, to focalize more accurately. 




BOY ON HOBBY-HORSE. 



From a painting by Joseph H. Bush. 



Joseph H. Bush 81 

When the photograph was first introduced it was the 
impression it would greatly interfere with portraiture, 
owing to the cheapness of the former, thereby lessen- 
ing the demand for portraiture in oil. In consequence 
many painters established galleries and would paint in 
oil the impression made by the camera after the image 
was thrown to life size on the canvas. 

Bush had a style peculiarly his own, consequent upon 
his close study of nature, and not in imitating the 
methods of other skilled artists. There is no trace of 
resemblance even to the paintings of his preceptor, 
Sully. He had a bold, broad, and vigorous touch, and 
an accurate knowledge of the complement of color. His 
flesh was transparent and halftone emphasized, but 
was not obtrusive. Consequently his modeling was 
faultless. Though his heads were often half in shadow 
like those of Rembrandt, the shadows were so trans- 
parent they did not attract observation, and were not 
refused by patrons on that account. His shadows had 
a purplish hue, but were perfectly balanced with the 
halftones and high - lights. 

In white drapery he was equally successful, it being 
difficult to represent on account of its reflexes. The 
shirt bosoms of his male portraits often were in shadow, 
yet he was enabled by the touches of pure white to 



82 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

represent the texture and whiteness in high - lights. His 
drawing was as his modeling, almost faultless. 

His strong ideality was exemplified in his grouping 
of children painted full length. Independent of the 
portraiture, they would adorn a gallery on account of 
the admirable composition. His master, Sully, was 
unsurpassed in the grouping of children, and this 
faculty more than any thing else gave him a national 
reputation. 

Portraits by Bush were in the most constant demand, 
although he charged one hundred and fifty dollars for 
bust size. 

While of a retiring nature, he did not avoid the 
social circle. He was not loquacious in his conversation, 
nor did he indulge often in repartee, but when he did 
it was with telling effect. 

The writer was once requested to introduce to him 
a young mechanical painter by the name of Ganter. 
This was done by taking him to Bush's studio. Bush 
asked him what he had last painted. To this the young 
would-be painter pompously replied: "I have just 
executed my father." With an expression of seeming 
surprise the artist said : ' ' Oh ! indeed, sir ; pray, sir, 
where was the sheriff ? " Fully appreciating the satire, 
the young man quickly made his exit. 



Joseph H. Bush 3 

A pedant or pretender was never a welcome guest 
in Bush's studio. His large store of information, and 
his faculty for imparting it when disposed to do so, 
made him very companionable. His reading was of a 
solid character, yet he found time to read the daily 
newspapers. In stature he was about five feet eight 
inches, and in weight one hundred and seventy pounds. 

His habits of life were regular, never indulging in 
intoxicants, and never using tobacco in any form. 

He was a constant attendant of the Second Presby- 
terian Church of Louisville ; Doctor E. P. Humphrey 
being at that time the pastor. 

Subsequently he was confirmed in the Episcopal 
Church, to which his brother, Doctor James M. Bush, 
and family belonged. 

When in Lexington his brother's house was his home, 
and here he died, after a short illness, on January n, 
1865, and was buried in his brother's lot in the beau- 
tiful "City of the Dead." 

His most noted paintings are those of General 
Zachary Taylor (three-quarter length), Governor John 
Adair, Doctor Benjamin W. Dudley, Judge Thomas B. 
Monroe, and General Martin D. Hardin. Any one of 
these portraits would entitle him to the highest rank 
in portraiture in this country or in the old world. 



84 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

Although the relentless hand of death may cause 
the great painter to lay down his brush as it does the 
author to relinquish his pen, yet they live ! 

No granite shaft need be erected by State or admir- 
ing public to perpetuate their memory. The picture 
gallery will testify to the genius of the one, and the 
shelves of the library to the greatness of the other ; both 
more satisfactory than the carved epitaph. 

"Their works do follow them." 



JOHN GRIMES 







PORTRAIT OF A LADY. 



From a painting by John Grimes. 



JOHN GRIMES' 



IN the old abandoned Episcopal Cemetery at Lex- 
ington, Kentucky, is a modest marble slab covered 
with moss and darkened by age, on which is italicized 
this inscription : "To the memory of John Grimes, Artist, 
Died December a/th, 1837, Aged 38." The omission 
of the date and place of birth on this humble stone 
would naturally cause comment, but so wrapped in 
mystery and obscurity was his entrance into the world 
that the simple fact of his existence was all that was 
known. 

He, like Topsy, "jest growed in the sun," or like 
the occasional freak in the vegetable kingdom, where 
there appears a voluntary growth in the virgin soil amid 
indigenous weeds, accounted for only by the germination 
of seed dropped from the beak of a bird in flight; 
food designed for the featherless nestling, or wafted 
there from a foreign soil by the wind. 

'Read before The Filson Club, April 2, 1900. 



88 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

The biographer, in consequence, is saved the task of 
giving the usual introduction to this sketch, for genealogy 
there is none. 

If it concerned Grimes that his parentage was not 
known, he doubtless could have been comforted by the 
conundrum given by the Irishman to the arrogant young 
l or( J w hy he was like the potato vine. The answer, 
as given by the Irishman, was that the best part of 
him was under the ground. 

When the cradle was the domain of the waif (for 
such he was), he had no mother to lull or rock him 
to sleep, no earthly father to provide his daily bread, 
but his Heavenly Father, who ever cares for the father- 
less, brought him friends, and it was his privilege to 
taste of the milk of human kindness, and in larger 
draft as he grew in years and stature, and when his 
earthly career was ended he was laid to rest by the 
loving hand of his benefactor in his family lot beside 
his own children who had gone before, and this slab 
before mentioned was placed to mark his grave. 

"Johnnie Grimes" had no mother to repeat to him 
' ' Mother Goose " or other nursery rhymes, or provide 
other amusement for him. In consequence he had to 
depend upon his own fertile imagination and inventive 
genius for his pleasure. He never tired of the chalk 



John Grimes 89 

and charcoal, and in decorating any available surface he 
found ever - increasing delight. Before he learned his 
alphabet he could copy the letters. His achievement 
in this line was a delight to his playmates and a wonder 
to the neighborhood. 

At the present day he possibly would not be con- 
sidered so great a prodigy, for almost every family has 
an artist. A German painter fresh from Munich a few 
years ago went to Cincinnati for the purpose of open- 
ing a studio, but first thought to make a house-to-house 
visitation in the best part of the city in quest of pat- 
ronage. After he had made the canvass he was asked 
by a brother painter the result of his effort. His reply 
was, "No good; I found a lady artist in every family. 
I will try my fortune in another city." 

It is some compensation to the writer for the loss 
of sight that he is denied the privilege of seeing the 
work of some of the would-be artists and being asked 
by their admiring friends to pass judgment upon their 
merit. This criticism is not intended to discourage the 
youth of the present day in the study of art, for every 
effort in that direction encourages the dissemination of 
the true knowledge of fine art. 

Mr. Thomas Grant, of Lexington, Kentucky, was 
attracted to young Grimes, and became so impressed 



90 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

with his talent for drawing that he gave him employ- 
ment in his store. ( Mr. Grant was one of the firm 
of Downing & Grant, who had an oil and paint store 
on Cheapside.) On further acquaintance he was so much 
pleased with the beautiful character of the boy that he 
placed him as salesman in the store and took him to 
live in his family, and finally adopted him as his son. 
The artist Matt Jouett purchased art material from 
this store, and was soon attracted to the boy who ground 
his paints. His interest became so great that he took 
him to his studio as his disciple, and was to him as 
Van Dyke was to Rubens. And he, as Van Dyke, drew 
inspiration from his master. He not only spent his 
days in Jouett's studio, but passed many of his evenings 
at his house, where he was a welcome guest and a 
great favorite with Mr. Jouett's children. His pleasing 
manners and versatility of genius made him friends of 
all with whom he was thrown. He was a born musician, 
and, when very young, mastered the flute and violin, 
and many pleasant evenings were spent in accompany- 
ing Mr. Jouett on the violin. After the death of Mr. 
Jouett he received a commission from Mr. Felix Grundy, 
of Nashville, Tennessee, to paint his portrait and those 
of his family. This completed, he found other work 
and remained in Nashville until, overtaken by consump- 




GKIMHS' "COUNTRY HOY." 



John Grimes 9 l 

tion, he was compelled to lay down his brush and return 
to Lexington to die. 

The author has seen but two of his pictures a 
portrait, ' ' The Country Lad, " and a composition, ' ' The 
Suicide." Both are excellent. "The Country Lad" 
was material gathered when fishing on the Cumberland 
River, a few miles above Nashville. While sitting on 
the bank of that picturesque stream watching the cork 
as it played upon the water, suddenly there burst upon 
him from the thick growth of wood a little country 
boy, whose rustic shyness was soon overcome by his 
interest in the success of the fisherman. So great was 
Grimes' admiration of the beauty of the child that the 
artistic spirit in him was stirred and he was eager to 
put him on canvas. Obtaining the consent of the boy's 
parents, he took him to Nashville and from him made 
this pretty picture. The lad is represented without a 
coat and showing the open vest. His mass of hair is 
in artistic confusion, and his red lips are partly opened, 
expressing rusticity. In drawing and harmony of color 
it is a beautiful work of art. 

The other picture, "The Suicide," is most gruesome, 
stripping life of its glamor and death of its dignity. 
The scene is an interior of a scantily furnished room. 
The victim is lying on the bed with the pistol in hand 



02 The Old Masters of the Bttiegrass 

which had done the fatal deed. The blood is oozing 
from the head, and shows the bullet had taken effect 
in the brain. Although unfinished, this picture proves 
he would have excelled in composition as well as por- 
traiture. The perspective of the room is fine. These 
works of art were owned by the late J. G. Hunter, 
of Lexington, Kentucky. 

Mr. Grant, his benefactor, had his portfolio of studies 
in crayon and charcoal which were made under Jouett's 
instruction, and they would do credit to the acade- 
mician of to - day. 

That he should be stricken down in the bloom of 
youth with prospect of large and luscious fruitage in 
sight is sad indeed. 

While it was natural that his friends should mourn 
his death because of his high moral and social qualities, 
yet it was but for a comparatively short period, as they, 
too, are in their graves ; but to the art world the stillness 
of his brush will be felt throughout all time. 



OLIVER FRAZER 







OLIVER FRAZER. 



Photographed from life. 






OLIVER FRAZER' 

IN the professions there is no greater compact than 

J between artists. They are drawn together by 

common sympathy, and therefore delight in each 

thers society. This pleasure they avail themselves of 

Changing visits to their respective studios or 

ang at some common rendezvous, picture gallery, or 

art emporium. 

The engaging topic is art and the methods of painting 
and sculpture. This custom is espec ially observed in 
' where the community of artists is large. Lexington 
tucky, though a small city, had a class of artists of 
ability who delighted in each others society 
iey not only exchanged visits at their stud 1OS , but could 
en almost every morning at the drug -store of Mr 
n S. Wilson, on Cheapsxde. This apothecary was not 
ily a friend to the artists, but kept artists' materials 
was himself an amateur in photography -before the 
advent of the kodak. 

'Read before The Filson Club, April 4, l89 8. 



96 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

The assembly of master artists was composed of such 
men as Joseph H. Bush, Louis Morgan, Joel T. Hart, 
and Oliver Frazer. It was a feast of reason and a flow 
of spirits, interspersed with sparkling wit, when these 
congenial spirits met. They were often joined by their 
admiring friends eminent in other callings, among whom 
were Robert J. Breckinridge, the great divine ; Doctor 
Robert Peter, Professor of Chemistry in the Transylvania 
Medical College ; Major Luwynskie, architect ; Honorable 
George W. Jouett, son of Mr. Matt. H. Jouett, artist, and 
Honorable Matt. C. Johnson, prominent at the bar. At 
these distinguished assemblies none was more entertain- 
ing than Oliver Frazer, the subject of this sketch. 

Oliver Frazer was born in Fayette County, Kentucky, 
February 4, 1808. He was the younger of two sons ; 
the elder, James, at the age of twenty - five met his 
death in a steamboat collision. His father, Alexander 
Frazer, was a native of Ireland, who, having taken part 
in the unfortunate insurrection of Emmett, escaped to 
this country and found his way to Kentucky, finally set- 
tling in Lexington in the early part of the present century. 
Not long after his arrival in Lexington he married Miss 
Nancy Oliver, a beauty of that place. 

Their married life, however, was short, for soon after 
Oliver's birth and before he had made any accumulation - 



Oliver Frazer 97 

only making a comfortable living for his little family his 
earthly career was brought to an end. 

The young widowed mother, therefore, was left to 
struggle for a livelihood for her family and to provide the 
necessary means for the education of her boys in the 
district school. To meet the demands of their bodies 
and to give them the advantages in the cultivation of 
their minds that her ambition suggested was more than 
her physical energy could endure. In her extremity, how- 
ever, Mr. Robert Frazer, the bachelor brother of her 
husband, came to her relief and acted a father's part to 
his brother's children by proposing to place them in the 
best school in Lexington at his own expense. 

The proposition, it is needless to say, was promptly 
accepted, as she felt that it would be no sacrifice on his 
part, engaged as he was in a lucrative business and with 
no family incumbrance. 

Whether Oliver's valuation of an education was suf- 
ficient for him to fully appreciate his kindness when 
offered by his uncle is a matter of conjecture. But it is 
known that his uncle was disappointed in that he did not 
at first make the progress that had been expected on 
account of his natural capacity. The early development 
of his talent for drawing proved an interruption to the 
pursuit of his studies. The young genius would frequently 



9 8 



The Old Masters of the Bhtegrass 



occupy the time in studying the physiognomy of any avail- 
able schoolmate or any object of interest that attracted 
his attention during school hours. So great was this 
disposition that his teacher's reprimand proved futile to 
conquer his ambition. The natural love of fine arts was 
greatly stimulated by the pictures of Mr. Jouett, Ken- 
tucky's great artist, whose studio he frequently visited. 
Despite the occasional indulgence of this propensity during 
school hours, he acquired more than the average pro- 
ficiency in his studies. At the age of seventeen his 
frameless slate and the thumb-worn leaves of his rudi- 
mental books were retired to the upper shelf of the closet, 
and with no prospect of their ever being succeeded by 
more advanced studies. On reaching the strength of 
manhood it was Frazer's regret that he did not pursue 
the study of the higher branches so efficiently taught at 
Transylvania University, although this institution at that 
time was in its infancy. 

In after years he became a great lover of literature, 
devoting his evenings and other spare moments to natural 
history, biography, and the standard poets. He was not 
much given to the reading of fiction, and seldom gave 
his time to novels, even those by standard writers. 

Soon after quitting school his uncle placed him under 
the tuition of Mr. Matt. H. Jouett, and, after remaining in 



Oliver Frazer 99 

his ( Jouett's ) studio for several months, at the advice of 
his preceptor he was sent to Philadelphia to prosecute 
his studies of art under Mr. Thomas Sully. Judging from 
his letters written from Philadelphia, he seems to have 
been very low-spirited among strangers, as a youth of 
twenty would naturally have been. He says ' ' Mr. Grimes 
and Doctor Black and Doctor Bird (an author of talent) 
are the only people in whom I can take any pleasure. 
The people here are much more selfish than with us ; if 
you lived here three months you would see the difference 
between this place and Kentucky ; selfishness is handed 
down from father to son." 

He says that he was much disappointed in the Academy 
pictures. ' ' Allston's picture of Lazarus restored to life 
fell short of my expectations, but when I saw one of 
West's, Allston's looked like life in comparison. The 
Academy is managed by doctors and lawyers who know 
nothing about art, and the consequence is people will not 
send their pictures. There are only two contributors this 
year, Sully and Otis. The latter has forty pictures, among 
which are some I would be ashamed of myself. Sully 
has one that is admirable. It is a full length of a man 
reclining on a couch." (Here he made a pencil sketch 
of the picture in his letter which is very pretty and 
graceful. ) 



ioo The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

Later he says : ' ' My advantages are so few here that 
I shall shortly return and take to the brush and the living 
subject, as they will not allow any of the Academy pic- 
tures to be copied, and I have worked long enough at 
casts and chalk." In the impatience of the student to 
change from the antique to the ' ' life school " Frazer was 
no exception ; the cold marble and plaster casts were less 
inspiring. The student, in his reproduction on paper of 
his breathless subject, feels not the need of hurry, and 
therefore puts not forth the greatest exertion ; but not 
so in drawing from life, when tardiness would put to trial 
the sitter's patience. 

His uncle then sent him abroad, where he remained 
four years attending the schools at Paris, Florence, Berlin, 
and London. 

It was in May, 1834, that he left New York for Europe. 
In his farewell letter to his mother he says: "Before 
this reaches you I will be on the ocean ; I will sail on 
the ' Francis First, ' a splendid ship and bears a gallant 
name, and will take us safely across." 

He visited the galleries in New York before he left, 
and seemed to be disappointed in the portraits with one 
exception, that of Commodore Rogers, by Innis. He liked 
the pictures in Philadelphia much better than those in 
New York. 



Oliver Frazer 101 

He landed at Havre on the nth of June, and this, 
his first visit to France, lasted about six months. While 
in Paris he studied under the same master with George 
P. R. Healy, with whom ties of friendship were formed 
that were never broken. In 1846 Mr. Healy was com- 
missioned by Louis Philippe, King of France, to come to 
America to paint portraits of a number of distinguished 
statesmen. To paint Clay he came to Lexington, and 
was for a portion of the time a guest of Mr. Frazer. 
While there he painted a portrait of himself and pre- 
sented it to his host. It is truly a masterpiece. His 
post-mortem portrait of Frazer was not so successful ; 
painted from a very indifferent photograph, memory failed 
to make up what it lacked in modeling and expression. 
It was disappointing in that it failed to portray the noble 
qualities of mind and heart which the face of the original 
so truly reflected. 

A gentleman from Lexington met Mr. Healy at the 
World's Fair at Chicago. He had grown quite old, but 
was still very interesting. Speaking of Mr. Frazer, he 
said : "Of all my fellow - students, he is the one who 
lives most deeply in my affectionate remembrance." 

In Paris Frazer met Forrest, the actor, who engaged 
him to paint his portrait, and quite a cordial friendship 
between them resulted. He often spoke of Forrest being 



102 I he ()/</ Mt tort's of the Bluegrass 

in his room in Paris and his reading for him. Upon one 
occasion In' ilucw himself into a theatiic.nl attitude ami 
aid, "Now, do I look- like ll'Kules?" and Frazer replied, 
" You look like a gladiator." 

In ihc Louvre he met Horace Verm t, and described 
him as a very bright, interesting -looking man, and a great 
lavonte with the students. Also in the Louvre he saw 
I alleyi.md. Me described him as a venerable looking 
in. in with long white hair, and his limbs wrapped in 
cloths a vi< tun of the gout. He looked at him with 
intense iiitiK i as the hero of so many great events in 
the politics of Kurope. 

As a general thing he did not admire the portraits in 
r.nis; he ih<>ii ; "li( 1 1 n 1 1.1 1 lie pictures fine. " The French," 
he says, "are parlir.ularly fond of lighting and sanguinary 
bailies ; they do both perhaps better than any thing. 
I he picture of this kind that I admire most is the Battle 
ol \Vagrani. I could scarcely persuade myself that I did 
not see a teal battle. It was painted by order of Louis 
Philippe for the Versailles Gallery." 

lie then visited Swit/.erland, Italy, Belgium, and 
England, returning to Paris in 1837. In writing from 
Switzerland he says: "I saw nothing of interest after 
Paris until I reached the Jura Mountains and saw the 
Valley of Geneva with the lake winding below and shim- 



Oliver Frazer 103 

UK ring like a silver serpent in the distance. Above it nil 
the snow-covered Alps and Mount 131anc with its head in 
the clouds. The scenery was altogether the most beau 
tiful I ever saw. The first night I slept opposite the 
celebrated Castle of Chillon, immortalized by the pen of 
Byron, with its old gothic dungeon. After leaving (,en<\.i 
I set out for Milan by the Simplon, that splendid road 
constructed by Napoleon. It runs for more than a day's 
journey along the lake." 

After being in Italy for some time he writes from 
Horence : "I often think what a. good place this would 
be to send a young man who is inclined to be intem- 
perate, for here he would find no fellowship in drink. 
The whole time I have been here I have seen but two 
drunken men, and they were in the Austrian territory. 
The light wines of Italy account for this ; it takes such 
a quantity to intoxicate that it is very inconvenient to 
get drunk. England affords a great contrast to this, and 
so does France. In London the gin-shops are innumer- 
able and fitted up in such splendid style that they are 
called 'Gin Palaces.' They are always crowded with 
men, women, and children, and I was astonished at the 
number of well-dressed women who frequented these 
places. A drunken woman is by no means a rare sight 
in London." 



104 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

In April, 1835, he writes: "Florence has been exceed- 
ingly gay since I wrote you ; the last week of the Carnival 
for frolicking and fooling of all kinds exceeds any thing I 
ever saw. It is now Lent, and there is to be fasting, 
praying, and preaching for forty days." 

After remaining in Italy for some time he writes that 
he thinks England the best place to study portraiture. 
Having heard also that Mr. Sully advised all young art 
students to go to England, he considered his old pre- 
ceptor high authority, and, in spite of his uncle's opinion 
that it would be best for him to remain in Italy, he begs 
his indulgence in this and sets off for England. 

June, 1835, finds him in London, and he writes to his 
mother : "I am delighted with the English school of 
pictures, and I have been introduced to Mr. Charles 
Leslie, the celebrated artist, who has kindly gotten 
permission for me to draw in the Museum." Mr. 
Leslie also gave him his card and invited him to see 
him, of which civility, strange to say, he never took 
advantage. 

Like all people far away from home, he longed to hear 
every thing and of everybody, and was restive under any 
advice. To his mother he said: "If your letter had 
been less like a sermon and more like a newspaper it 
would have been more interesting. Write me news no 




FRA/ER'S WIFE AND CHILDREN. 



From a painting by himself. 



Oliver Frazer 105 

advice. Why, I myself could give advice that would do 
no discredit to a preacher, but to be practically good and 
theoretically so are two different things." Again he says 
to her : "I am sorry to hear you are losing your teeth ; 
it is a great misfortune, and from what I can learn the 
best artificial ones are but poor substitutes. I never pass 
the cases in the dentists' windows without shuddering, for 
in addition to the horrid sets of artificial teeth of every 
size and shape with their ghastly vermilion gums, I am 
forcibly reminded of the dilapidated state of my own 
grinders. In one of the windows in the Palace Royal 
are displayed two of the teeth of Napoleon. They are 
encircled with a wreath of gold, surmounted by the 
imperial eagle. They look very much like the teeth of 
an ordinary mortal, but of very small and delicate pro- 
portions, but the roots hook outward in such a manner 
that when extracted they must have created quite a 
sensation in the imperial jaw." 

The thorough course of study and rigid enforcement 
of principles taught required greater application from 
Frazer than he had ever experienced. The two years' 
course in drawing ( the grammar of painting ) was a trial 
to his patience, for, like most beginners in the school of 
art, he was eager to experiment with his brush, coloring, 
in his opinion, being the most essential. 



106 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

He was taught that crayon and charcoal, when suc- 
ceeded by the brush loaded with color, was only a 
continuation of drawing the outline sketch, the linear; 
the modeling in colors, the perspective. The proper 
location of light and shadow was dependent upon correct 
drawing. These principles he never forgot. Then, too, 
the method in coloring was quite different from the 
instruction of his former preceptor, Mr. Sully, which 
proved a hindrance rather than an advantage in his 
studies abroad, yet he never lost sight of the teachings 
of Jouett as to the setting of his palette. 

Acquiring a great proficiency with his brush, he returned 
to Lexington, where he opened a studio of his own, the 
walls of which were adorned with copies of many of the 
masters of the Louvre and other national galleries. One 
of the copies was "Diana and her Nymphs." It repre- 
sents the scene where Diana converts Actaeon into a stag 
because of his indelicate intrusion upon them while bathing. 
While it was morally pure in its grouping, the fastidious 
female visitors to his studio would hastily pass it by to 
inspect its neighbors. Not long after its hanging, a lady 
in the humble walks of life, accompanied by her beautiful 
daughter of sixteen or seventeen, visited the young artist, 
not to see his collection, but to engage him to perpetuate 
on canvas the form and features of the lovely daughter. 



Oliver Frazer 107 

Soon after the stipulations had been made regarding the 
cost of the portrait and number of sittings required, the 

4 

mother's eyes unfortunately turned to this painting of 
"Diana and her Nymphs," and she said in rather a 
positive voice, ' ' Well, sir, if my daughter is to sit for her 
likeness you must put clothes on those women or take 
the picture down." So anxious was the young artist to 
secure the commission that he promised to comply with 
the conditions, preferring rather to remove it from sight 
than to clothe the figures. It is hardly necessary to state 
that the work was as faithfully executed as though the 
patron had been of the higher stratum of society ; and 
the expression of satisfaction by the mother gave the 
painter as much pleasure as if bestowed by one better 
acquainted with works of art. 

While he never turned a deaf ear to compliments 
from any one when sincerely given, yet his natural 
good sense proved a barrier to the seductive influence 
of flattery. Besides his accomplishments, his attractive 
appearance and dignified deportment at once won him a 
host of friends. Not only young people of his age, but 
older ones were drawn to him. In stature he was slightly 
above medium height, and in weight one hundred and forty- 
five or fifty pounds. He was so symmetrically proportioned 
that his movements were both graceful and dignified. 



io8 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

He had not long to wait for sitters, receiving encourage- 
ment from the first families in the city. His heads 
commanded the highest price ( fifty dollars ) charged by 
the older and more experienced artists of Kentucky at 
the beginning of his professional career. 

In the year 1838 he was married to Miss Martha Bell 
Mitchell, of Lexington, Kentucky, an unusually sprightly 
and accomplished lady. 

Realizing from the first the pecuniary responsibility of 
his new relation, he did not wait, then at his easel, on 
the capricious moods of inspiration at all times as had 
been his former habit. 

Despite his efforts, however, he was unable fully to 
conquer this disposition. In one of his visits to the 
studio of the writer ( who was then a disciple of his ) to 
inspect the task assigned, he was disappointed at the 
little progress made and wanted to know the cause. The 
student's reluctant reply was, "I was just waiting for the 
spirit to move me." At this response he felt that he 
himself had been rebuked, and could only rejoin by saying, 
"Young man, take my precept but shun my example." 
Like all men of genius largely dependent upon inspira- 
tion, his pictures were not always up to his standard of 
excellence. His best were full of feeling. It is only 
mechanical painters that are uniform in their work. 



Oliver Frazer 109 

Strong male heads were Frazer's delight. In painting 
the delicate features of the female face it was an exception 
when his brush was excited to its fullest capacity. He 
said the majority of women wanted to be made pretty 
whether nature had or not in this respect been lavish in 
her endowments. In his execution he was always happy 
in combining strength with delicacy. Had he had less 
of the former quality he would have been more successful 
with his female sitters. The better reason, perhaps, was 
due to the fact that his high sense of veracity made it 
difficult, if not impossible, to practice on canvas that which 
he did not in speech the retailing of fulsome flattery. 
His style had not the breadth to meet the require- 
ments of the demand of the present day. The broad 
and full brush, with but little or no detail, is the craze 
of the hour. He certainly would not have been in sym- 
pathy with the modern "impressionism" a style that has 
been much in vogue but was unknown in his day and 
he would have considered it, as does the writer, a per- 
version of art. Impressionism, properly so called, was 
the result of a small group of painters in Paris, France, 
and for a short time it had a great following, but soon 
lost its distinctive character, since the one problem with 
which it dealt was out-of-door nature in sunlight. It was 
a new theory of color resulting from the discovery that 



1 10 The Old Masters of the Blmgrass 

vivid color light excited color impressions upon the optic 
nerve which did not exist in the scene but were present 
to the eye, and should be represented as though they 
really existed. It dealt purely with the color values, real 
and apparent, and troubled itself with very little else, 
hence the carelessness as regarded line, light, and shadow 
or modeling effect on chiaro-oscuro composition and the 
other qualities which had been regarded as essentials to 
a picture. In order to lay more stress upon this one 
feature it endeavored to get light by painting upon an 
extremely light key of light, and not by contrasts of light 
and shadow, eliminating the latter as far as possible from 
the canvas. Substituting contrast of color for contrast of 
light and dark, they adopted the style which prevailed in 
decorative art, in which an effect pleasing to the eye was 
sought, subverting all more serious purposes, and as the 
latter is intended to have a retiring effect belonging to 
the second place, the ' ' impressionists " pitched their fore- 
ground to correspond in strength to the middle distance, 
thus avoiding many of the difficulties of representing 
nature from a nearer view. Such is, briefly, the impression 
received by the writer of "impressionism." The only dis- 
tinctively new feature in it was color impression excited 
by vivid color light, and the attempt to represent nature 
in motion instead of at rest. 



Oliver Frazer m 

This brief movement was succeeded by several phases 
terminating in what is now styled the ' ' modernist " or 
' ' plain artists, " who are endeavoring to graft their prin- 
ciples upon what preceded them of all schools, so far as 
they can, and still retain a distinctive style. Of the 
latter school there were some admirable examples as far 
as they went, their charm consisting in a tender arrange- 
ment of color harmony, but lacking in the fullness and 
satisfying power of the greater schools of painting, while 
the mass of the latter work is poor utterly destitute of 
what is known as ' ' quality of color, " and, being the 
work of men of inferior talent and inadequate technical 
training, are scarcely to be regarded as fine art at all. 

The artists of the new school limit themselves to a 
few problems of light and color. However good these 
may be, or however successful the results, it is strange 
that men of great earnestness and genius are content 
with an art which does not admit of the fullest expression 
of their power in every feature that their art is capable 
of conveying. 

The new art as practiced by the extremist is to the 
artists of the old school extremely distasteful, but it is 
not to those we must look for the best results. The 
conservative man with honest purpose may shape some- 
thing of permanent value to be added to the traditions 



1 1 2 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

of the past, which is already so rich in its resources, 
sounding as it does the full gamut of light and color, 
employing chiaro-oscuro to the full power of the palette ; 
it stirs the soul by its lighter or darker moods, especially 
in the profound depth and mystery of shadow, touching 
the superficial and the more serious problems of life, 
probing to the depths of human thought and emotion 
as well as the gayer or more tragical aspects of the 
elements. 

There is room for a vast variety in art expression 
without sacrificing truth. There is no need of narrowness 
or exclusiveness ; only the false and meretricious need be 
rejected, and all accepted which will bear the test of 
comparison with a just view of nature. The rarer forms 
of art expression will always be those in which nature 
has passed through the medium of a highly sensitized 
and poetic soul. Thomas Wharton thus amusingly wrote 
after seeing an exhibition of impressionist pictures : 

And if the purple curfew tolls the knell of the purple day, 
And the purple herd winds slowly upon the purple lea, 

And the purple ploughman homeward plods his purple way, 
You may leave the world to darkness, but do n't leave it to me. 

Frazer's best portraits were faultless in drawing, trans- 
parent in color, and gradation of modeling masterly. 




MATTHEW T. SCOTT. 



From' an oil painting by Oliver Frazer. 



Oliver Frazer 113 

His great admiration of Sir Thomas Lawrence as a 
head painter caused him continually to strive in imitation 
of his style, consequently their treatment was not unlike. 
Morgan, the artist, would often stand back of Frazer 
when the latter was at work, so much did he admire his 
coloring. On one occasion, in the hearing of the writer, 
Morgan exclaimed while watching the masterly strokes of 
his friend's brush, "Pard, I envy your touch!" Con- 
sidering the very high estimate Frazer had for this painter, 
this compliment was highly appreciated. Had he unfavor- 
ably criticised his treatment it would have been received 
in the same spirit, knowing it was not from any unfriendly 
motive. Unfavorable criticism from a pretender, prompted 
by sinister motives, was to him naturally repugnant. 

On one occasion Frazer's patience was severely tried 
by an unjust criticism by one of those characters. A 
gentleman friend on entering the artist's studio one after- 
noon found him in a very irascible mood, and, on inquiring 

the cause, he said : ' ' Mrs. called a few moments 

ago to see her husband's portrait that I had just finished, 
and because of the folds in the coat and vest condemned 
it ; she must take me to be a d d tailor." Two cox- 
combs of the city who prided themselves upon their 
artistic culture attained in a recent visit to Europe, where 
they had hastily examined the collections of some of the 






n4 The Old Masters of the Bfaegrass 

prominent galleries, called to see Healy's portrait of 
General Jackson, and made known the object of their 
visit in a patronizing manner. Frazer, directing them to 
the painting that was sitting on the floor next to the 
copy he had recently painted, left it to them to determine 
the original. After examining each picture critically one 
of them remarked to the artist, who was busily engaged 
before his easel, "Your copy is not up to the original 
painting," at the same time pointing to Healy's picture. 
In reply Frazer asked him to look at the name at the 
lower left-hand corner of the canvas of the one they had 
condemned. One immediately complied with his request. 
Upon resuming his perpendicular he remarked to his 
companion, "Hell, Jim, that is Healy's picture!" After 
this they both beat a hasty retreat. The feelings of the 
artist can better be imagined than described. 

As before stated, Frazer was not sensitive to friendly 
criticism when given by one competent to judge, and 
indeed would often invite it, so little did he value his own 
work. He was his hardest master, and would hardly ever 
let a portrait leave his studio, however satisfactory to his 
patron, if not up to his idea of artistic execution. The 
disposition to undervalue his own efforts was consequent 
on innate modesty or the consciousness that his power of 
execution was inadequate to even moderately portray on 



Oliver Frazer 1J 5 

canvas his high conception of nature and the knowledge 
of true art. In accepting the latter as the most natural 
reason, modesty must be considered the primary cause. 
The saying that modesty is an evidence of genius was in 
him fully confirmed. 

As an instance of this, he had painted a splendid por- 
trait of Colonel W. R. McKee, who had fallen while 
leading his regiment in a charge at the Battle of Buena 
Vista. His family and friends were greatly delighted 
with the portrait, but when they desired to take it home 
the artist insisted it was not finished. All persuasion 
and argument had failed when a happy device was agreed 
upon that the decision should rest upon what the Colonel's 
little daughter, Mattie, would say when first seeing it. 
The portrait was removed to Mrs. McKee's residence ; it 
was then placed on a chair with proper draperies as one 
sitting, suitable light having been arranged. The picture 
was in the parlor, the door left open, while the painter 
and family and a few eager friends occupied the library 
adjoining, awaiting the return of the little girl from school. 
Soon the front door opened ; she was heard in the hall ; 
she stopped a moment at the parlor door, and then came 
running in, saying joyfully, ' ' Mamma, mamma, I always 
said that my papa would come home again." That 
settled the question, and a more pleased or gratified 



1 1 6 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

expression seldom lighted up the painter's placid face. 
So small was the appreciation Frazer had for the result 
of his own brush, it is not strange that the work of 
inferior painters should have given him no pleasure, and 
that he avoided their acquaintance. To the youthful 
student in art who showed natural talent he was always 
disposed to give a helping hand, but those who evinced 
no natural genius he would endeavor to turn into another 
channel when his advice was asked. 

At one time a young apprentice of a house painter 
sought his advice as to the propriety of his learning to 
paint the human face instead of acquiring a proficiency 
in graining. The artist endeavored to convince him that 
it required more than a mechanical use of the brush to 
become a good portrait painter ; that talent was necessary 
for success in its attainment. This the apprentice thought 
he possessed, and requested the permission to bring one 
of his paintings for the artist's inspection. The request 
being granted, the apprentice started immediately for the 
' ' gem " ( ? ). On his entrance to the studio he set it 
down on the floor next to another portrait. He had not 
more than put it in position when a gentleman friend of 
Frazer's entered, followed by his Newfoundland dog. 
The animal at once sighted this picture, set up a growl, 
then approached it and with his huge paw knocked it 



Oliver Frazer u? 

over. After this performance he demurely moved to the 
opposite side of the room and quietly laid down. This 
act of the canine so affected the risibilities of the owner 
that he had not the composure to ask pardon or to 
readjust the property of the apprentice. The latter 
hastily picked it up, placed it under his arm, and made 
an unceremonious exit from the room. Scarcely had the 
door been closed when the owner of the dog burst out 
afresh, but with more volume of voice, joined in this time 
by the host, who was unable longer to suppress his mirth, 
for he, too, had a keen sense of the ridiculous. As soon 
as the guffaw had subsided, the painter asked his friend 
how much money he would take for this animal, saying, 
"He is the smartest dog I ever saw ; he is a fine art critic 
-he can tell a daub at first sight." This instance tended 
to enhance the already high appreciation he had of the 
canine. His fondness for domestic animals, especially the 
dog and cat, was almost a passion. To him it was a 
pleasant pastime to study their habits and watch their 
gambols. The thorough knowledge of the racer made 
him the best of authority as to the registration of the 
thoroughbred. Wit being a natural accompaniment of 
genius, Frazer possessed it in an unmeasurable degree. 
Since it was of satirical mould, he was always careful in 
handling the formidable weapon lest he might inflict more 



ti8 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

than a surface wound. Like light and shadow he so 
skillfully treated in his pictures, his vivacity of spirits was 
interrupted with periods of mental depression. When in 
his happiest frame of mind he was delightful company - 
his fine conversational powers, his sparkling wit, and gen- 
eral intelligence, with a tenacious memory, attracting all 
classes to him, and especially the most cultivated of both 
sexes. 

Mr. Henry Clay pronounced him one of the most 
entertaining persons he ever knew. When he sat to him 
for his portrait he was less restless than when being 
painted by any other artist. So well versed was the 
artist in politics (being of the party of his distinguished 
sitter), he could talk to this great statesman entertain- 
ingly on matters of State. This doubtless accounts for 
the success of the portrait. Mr. Clay thought it the best 
ever painted of him, and evinced his sincerity by recom- 
mending it to his admiring friends. The result was that 
the artist secured three orders for copies. This portrait 
was not superior, in point of artistic merit, to others from 
his brush. The ones called to mind are those of Chief 
Justice George Robertson ; Mr. M. T. Scott, President of 
the Bank of Kentucky ; Mr. Joel T. Hart, the sculptor, 
and the family group consisting of his own wife and two 
infant children. Any one of the portraits mentioned 



Oliver Frazer 119 

would have given their author a world-wide reputation 
had they been exhibited abroad. His great mistake was 
in locating himself in so small a place as Lexington. The 
horizon was too contracted for one of his genius. Had 
he lived in New York or Boston, the art atmosphere 
would have stimulated him to greater exertion. The 
constant contact with other painters and the inspecting 
of their works would have excited in him more of a 
spirit of rivalry and less disposition to copy himself all 
the while. His brush was less prolific in his latter 
years because of impaired vision. 

On the gth of February, 1864, after an illness of 
several months, he was summoned to lay down his palette 
and brush forever. Although confined to the house for 
several months prior to his death caused by a dis- 
ordered liver and impaired circulation the final summons 
was a surprise to both his family and friends. His death 
cast a pall over Lexington and throughout the State. 
He was one of Kentucky's favorite sons. The State 
should have placed his and Jouett's remains alongside of 
those of Hart in the State Cemetery at Frankfort, and 
over the remains placed a shaft of granite in honor of 
three of Kentucky's best artists. But it is perhaps 
best that his ashes were not disturbed, for they now 
lie in the beautiful cemetery at Lexington among his 



1 20 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

friends and relatives, to remain in peace until the clarion 
call of the archangel. A modest and appropriate marble 
column, erected at the instance of his affectionate widow, 
marks his grave, and on it is inscribed the last verse 
from the beautiful poem in memoriam written by his life- 
long friend, Mrs. Catherine Warfield, of Lexington. The 
poem is as follows : 

It came upon us like the thunder's roll, 

In an unclouded sky, when winds are low ; 
And wild rebellious words, without control, 

Gave the first utterance to our bitter woe ; 
But soon the thought of that supernal bliss, 

The heavenly portion now of one who led 
A life so pure, so sanctified as his, 

Brought a just sense of what we owe the dead, 
And we rejoiced with his enfranchised soul. 

' Tis for the living that our tears are shed, 

Those that he cherished with a love so true, 
Who, for the want of that divinest bread, 

The heart's best aliment Heaven's honey dew, 
Shall pine and languish wearily and long 

Before affection's hunger is allayed 
By Heavenly manna, and the calm and strong 

Ameliorating hand of time is laid 
On hearts that may not now be comforted. 



Oliver Frazer I21 

So, gentle spirit, never more on earth 

Shall purer essence dwell in mortal mould, 
Or sweeter influence fall o'er home and hearth 

Than it was thine to shed. The form is cold 
That in its fragile bonds contained thee here, 

But on the wings of morning hast thou sped, 
In thy triumphant flight from sphere to sphere, 

And Genius, once earth-bound and limited, 
Is wakened now to an immortal birth. 

The funeral took place from Christ Episcopal Church, 
Lexington. The services were conducted by the Reverend 
Doctor Shipman. Some of the pall -bearers were Mr. 
Richard Higgins, Doctor Llewellyn Tarlton, Mr. William 
A. Dudley, Mr. William Warfield, Alexander Jeffrey, and 
J. J. Hunter. 

The following obituary sketches appeared in the Lex- 
ington and Louisville press : 

DIED, 

On the morning of Saturday, February gth, at his residence, near 
Lexington, Oliver Frazer, Esquire, in the fifty-seventh year of his age. 

Mr. Frazer was a painter and true artist. He loved his 
profession for its own sake far more than for its pecuniary gains. 
He was diffident of his own powers to an extreme degree. His 
taste, naturally delicate, was refined by intimate acquaintance 
with the best productions of the ancient and modern schools. 
He was not readily content with his own labors ; their defects, 
magnified by his critical eye, gave him more pain than he derived 



i22 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

pleasure from their excellencies which delighted others. He had 
little ambition or desire for riches. His pencil was therefore 
never prolific, and for several years before his death his defective 
vision had caused its almost entire relinquishment. Few of his 
pictures are known to the public, but they are of very rare 
merit. Other artists who knew his powers have said that he 
only did enough to indicate what he could have done. 

It is as a man, however, that we wish to speak of him. He 
was honest and straight-forward, and had a lofty scorn for every 
thing base or mean. He was kind, affectionate, and true. He 
had traveled much in early life, and knew men of every pro- 
fession in different lands. His reading in art and general literature 
was extensive beyond that of most men. His retentive memory 
had its stores always at command. His manners were perfectly 
simple and unaffected. Coupled with these his sparkling wit and 
charming powers of narration made him often an instructive and 
always a delightful companion. 

If nothing is said of his domestic life it is only because these 
are precincts too sacred to be trodden here. 

He had few intimate associates ; his retiring modesty forbade 
an extensive acquaintance, but by them he was highly prized 
and dearly loved. They offer this last poor tribute to his 
memory. 

To all of us his death was sudden and unexpected a sore 
calamity and heavy loss. In the words of his own favorite 

author 

We bow to Heaven that willed it so, 

That darkly rules the fate of all, 
That sends the respite or the blow, 
That's free to give or to recall. 



Oliver Frazer 123 

DEATH OF A KENTUCKY ARTIST. 
(From the Louisville Journal.) 

We are much pained at the announcement in the Lexington 
papers of the death of the gifted Oliver Frazer. His spark of 
life went gently out on the pth instant, at his residence near 
that city. He leaves an interesting family, and has gone into 
the "undiscovered country" lamented by thousands who appre- 
ciated his genius, his fine social qualities and vigorous intellect. 
In many respects Oliver Frazer was a remarkable man. At an 
early age he commenced painting as a pupil of Kentucky's great 
artist, Matthew Jouett, and evidence of rare genius was soon 
developed. Mr. Jouett died, and young Frazer left for Europe 
to catch the inspiration of the old masters in the famed galleries 
of the Continent. He passed several years of his life at Florence, 
Dresden, Paris, and Rome, and in the very shadow of the Vati- 
can plied himself to the profession to which his energies were 
to be devoted. After finishing his studies abroad he returned to 
Kentucky and was promptly met by the warm encouragement 
so invigorating to young ambition. 

His success as a portrait painter was marked. From his 
studio have gone forth many splendid specimens of art some 
unsurpassed. Frazer's Henry Clay, without disparaging the 
efforts of the many who have attempted the features of the 
"great Commoner," is beyond doubt the Clay of all yet painted, 
for while in daily contact with Mr. Clay he succeeded in catch- 
ing the living, breathing expression the fire, the soul of the 
mighty man and has, as by a magic stroke, left to the world 
a picture which, to coming time, will daily be more precious. 
To have painted such a picture of such a man is surely fame 
enough. But as a social, cultivated gentleman, the subject of 
this sketch was particularly striking. In conversation he was 
truly brilliant, with sufficient eccentricity to render his manner 
fascinating in the extreme. Having been a constant reader of 
the best class of works, and gifted by nature with a tenacious 



The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

memory, he was one of the most entertaining of men, few 
possessing such powerful control of language. 

He was original in all things, imitating in nothing, and eccen- 
tric even to the standard of a genius. Though well informed 
and talented, he had no faith in his own superior powers. 
Unfortunately for art his eyesight was imperfect for many years 
towards the close of his life. In him much has been lost : Art 
has lost a gifted contributor, society a just and generous gen- 
tleman, and our State a son of whose genius and worth she 
well may be proud. 

Out of seven children, only four ( daughters ) survived 
him. At this writing only three are living, Miss Fanny 
having died in the year 1878 at the age of thirty-two. 

Mrs. Frazer and two unmarried daughters still reside 
on the small farm about three miles northwest of Lex- 
ington, where Mr. Frazer spent most of his married life. 
Mrs. Redd, the third daughter, lives in the suburbs at a 
convenient distance from her husband's place of business 
in the city. The Frazers' homestead is a substantial 
brick building with no great architectural pretense. The 
natural and artificial environments make it so picturesque 
that the visitor, on first seeing it, is struck with its 
appropriateness as the abode of an artist. The walls of 
the rooms are covered with works of art, principally 
portraits. Besides those from Frazer's easel, there are 
several heads by Jouett and Healy. 



Louis MORGAN 




SIMON KENTON. 



From an oil painting by Louis Morgan, owned by Colonel R. T. Durrelt. 






Louis MORGAN' 



THE historian, in his effort to obtain the locality of 
the subject of his biography, is determined by the 
State of his adoption rather than of his birth - 
just as the individual right to an adopted child, whose 
bodily support and moral and mental training are credited 
to the foster parent, is paramount, the natural parent 
only claiming the right of progenitor. Besides this, the 
consciousness that the child recognizes no other parental 
authority to be superior is conclusive, though the validity 
of the title is not made void by his opposition. 

Kentucky's claim to the great Commoner, the sage of 
Ashland, is superior to that of Virginia, the State of his 
nativity. For the same reason Kentucky can not find 
fault justly with the State of Illinois for claiming Abraham 
Lincoln, the martyred President, but is satisfied with the 
knowledge that his advent on earth was made within her 
borders. For a like reason, also, Kentucky claims Louis 

1 Read before The Filson Club, October i, 1900. 



The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

Morgan as one of her sons, despite his objection to 
being thus classed. Although the major part of this 
artist's life was given to Kentucky, he was always loyal 
in his allegiance to his native State. This was in a large 
measure due to his anti-slavery principles. Being a native 
of a free State, his environments and youthful training 
were so much in opposition to the institution that he 
never became reconciled to its existence. 

He was born in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, 
Pennsylvania, on the twenty-first day of November, 1814. 
As no family record was preserved, there is but little 
knowledge as to his parentage, and the little known is 
traditional. His mother was the only member of his 
family of whom he was wont to speak. 

He was ever fond of referring to his mother, and in 
the most tender and affectionate terms. He not infre- 
quently spoke with tears in his eyes of the bad treatment 
his mother received at his hands in his youthful days, 
confessing that he did not recognize her right to require 
obedience, and that he presumed too much on her 
amiable disposition. The sowing of his wild oats before 
he had reached his majority was not deemed a sufficient 
atonement to satisfy his much - disturbed conscience, and 
it was a source of deep regret to him that she did not 
live long enough to witness his reformation. 



Louis Morgan 129 

It is natural to presume that if his father had applied 
the rod of correction more vigorously it might have saved 
the mother much anguish of spirit and anxiety for the 
future of her wayward boy, and him the pungent remorse 
of after years. 

After all, he never admitted that he was the worst of 
boys a terror to the neighborhood. The truth is, he 
was not as good as Oliver Twist nor as bad as the 
more modern Tom Sawyer. His badness was not of the 
malicious type, being more of omission than commission. 

The commendable efforts in charcoal and chalk by the 
juvenile artist proved rather an annoyance than a gratifi- 
cation to his mother, for the reason that they caused a 
diversion from the task assigned him at home and in 
school. The attempt on the part of the parents and 
teacher to apply the brake to the excessive indulgence of 
this propensity developed in him a sullen opposition. 

An additional cause for his mother's dissatisfaction was 
the use of the walls and fences of the residence for the 
exhibition of his precocious talent, and the more she 
would protest, the more grotesque would be the figures. 
And in illuminating the engravings in the family books 
with colored crayon he never waited for a commission, 
but his performances were gratuitous. In her extremity 
a friend came to her relief by furnishing her incorrigible 



1 30 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

boy canvas and a few colors and brushes. As the canvas 
proved a better surface for his labors, he gave the walls 
and fences a rest, and the book illustrations he ceased 
to embellish. 

Lest, from the preceding account of the conduct of 
young Louis, the impression has been made on the mind 
of the reader that the occasional disobedience amounted 
to rebellion to parental authority by refusing to do manual 
service when commanded and to perform tasks required 
by his school-master, it is but just to say he did what 
he was directed to do both at home and at school, but 
not with alacrity. 

Had he, in addition to the regular domestic duties, 
been left in charge of a little baby sister while his mother 
had gone a-shopping, and in her absence had drawn a 
picture of the little innocent while asleep, as did the boy 
Benjamin West, his mother might have had a better 
appreciation of his genius, and, therefore, been more 
patient with him. 

Notwithstanding the fact that part of his time during 
school hours was given to sketching, he was never behind 
in his lessons, and at the end of the term he received 
favorable reports of his standing in his studies. 

His scholastic advantages were not of the highest 
order, though the best that his parents' limited circum- 



Louis Morgan 

stances would justify. Small as his opportunities were in 
acquiring a classical education, he, however, expressed 
regret in mature years that he did not diligently improve 
the time. It was, nevertheless, comforting to him that 
what he lacked in academic acquirements he supplied by 
literary capital gained in his bachelor days. 

The Bible and Shakespeare were his favorite books, 
and from the latter he could repeat from memory passage 
after passage with much dramatic effect. 

It was the opinion of those competent to judge, that, 
had the bent of his ambition been directed to the stage, 
he would have made as great a success as he did in the 
one of the triple sisters of fine arts that he chose for his 
profession. Besides his elocutionary powers, his fine 
volume and flexibility of voice made it possible. 

The same might have been as truly said of his success 
in music had his ear been cultivated. His musical talents 
were more especially made manifest by his superior whist- 
ling powers. This accomplishment proved a great help 
to him when he had children as sitters, as he could 
better engage their attention and thereby secure their 
happiest expression. The perfect imitation of the mock- 
ing-bird, its trills and warbles, never failed to delight them. 

When alone in his studio at work he would frequently 
be heard from without exercising this power, and the 



132 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

occasion for it would be when he had accomplished a 
satisfactory effect in color. 

The closing of school days was then, as it is now, an 
important epoch in the history of the young man it 
being the transition from youth to manhood. The free- 
dom from the restraints of the school-room would soon 
be followed by emancipation from parental authority. To 
launch thus his boat in the voyage of life, exposed to 
perilous rocks and breakers, is a serious occasion with 
most young men. The choice of a trade or profession 
by which to maintain a livelihood is a difficulty that 
meets him at the threshold. But not so with young 
Morgan. Nature, as he believed, had chosen a profession 
for him. She had instructed him to be a painter. 

It is decidedly advantageous to one's success in life 
when the road to it is pointed out by the hand of nature. 
Adapted to the pursuit in life of one's adoption, its pros- 
ecution is less difficult. The mountains of difficulties are 
to be made low and the crooked paths straight. The 
love of the true painter and musician for their respective 
professions makes the practice of them pleasurable pas- 
time. The painter who loves his profession experiences 
as much pleasure during the progress of his work as the 
money paid for it when accomplished will yield him, 
' ' filthy lucre " being of secondary importance. 



Lo^t^s Morgan 



i33 






While only a banker, or one with a big bank account, 
can be a patron of the best of this profession, yet the 
artist's advice is never asked on questions of finance, nor 
is he ever recommended for the position of bank director. 

Mr. and Mrs. Morgan removed to Pittsburgh, Pennsyl- 
vania, taking their son Louis, then about sixteen years 
of age, with them. The boy was at once placed in 
charge of a chair painter as an apprentice, and in a short 
time acquired such a proficiency in this trade that he 
was required to do all the ornamentation. 

Mr. William Wall, who was a wood-carver of the same 
city, and who was educated at Oxford, England, made 
the acquaintance of young Morgan, and was so much 
impressed with his talents that he had great influence 
over him during the early steps of his career. He was 
quite competent to appreciate the worth of the young 
painter, as he himself had in England, his native country, 
become acquainted with the best English artists and their 
productions. Morgan did not hesitate to take his advice, 
but at the very beginning was confronted with obstacles, 
for there were no art schools in Pittsburgh nor any local 
artist to go to for instruction ( it had at that time a pop- 
ulation of only twenty thousand), and it was only from 
occasional visits of foreign painters that he could get any 
aid. Therefore he was compelled to depend upon his 



1 34 The Old Masters of the Bhiegrass 

own natural resources in the development of his genius. 
These visiting artists in the inspection of his efforts 
were so highly commendatory that it was not long before 
there was a demand for his portraits. 

About the age of twenty his reputation was not limited 
to Pittsburgh, for a portrait by him exhibited in Phila- 
delphia brought him to the attention of the publishers 
of the work entitled ' ' National Portrait Gallery, " and so 
much were the publishers pleased with his work that they 
commissioned him to proceed to Ohio to paint a portrait 
of Simon Kenton, the pioneer and adventurer. He found 
Kenton at his humble home, and on making known to 
him the object of his visit, he at once consented to give 
the artist the necessary sittings. Morgan became so 
greatly enthused by the strong features and healthy com- 
plexion of his subject that in a week or two he made a 
perfect counterpart of his patient sitter. As it was in 
the winter time, he represented him holding an old broom 
handle burnt at one end, occasioned by using it to stir 
up the big log fire. During his sittings the old pioneer 
was so much interested in narrating his marvelous 
adventures among the redskins of Kentucky and Ohio 
(especially the thirteen times he was forced to run the 
gauntlet when a prisoner of the Indians ) that the painter 
had not the usual difficult task of trying to entertain the 



Louis Morgan 135 

sitter while he painted. He was only a listener while he 
portrayed on canvas the original. After the work was 
completed it was boxed and sent to the publishers at 
Philadelphia. They were so delighted with the painting 
that they at once had it engraved by R. W. Hodson. 
After the engraver had completed the copy it was sent 
to an art exhibition in the Academy of Fine Arts. On 
hanging day the painting, being by a wholly unknown 
artist, was "skyed." When the exhibition was opened 
to artists and judges, a Mr. Barley, one of the recognized 
artists of the time, in examining the collection caught 
sight of Mr. Morgan's picture. He sent to those in 
charge, told them of the impression it made on him- 
self, and insisted that it be put at such a height as 
would reveal its merits. When it was so placed it 
was at once adjudged to be the painting of the whole 
exhibition. This at once brought him into great favor 
with the Philadelphia artists. 

The portrait is now in the possession of the family of 
the late James B. Yenocre, of Philadelphia. 

Morgan, before giving up his subject, painted a portrait 
of him for his own studio. After taking leave of Kenton 
he went to Louisville, at which place he opened a studio, 
and the portrait of Kenton, which he placed on exhibi- 
tion, so soon brought him into the notice of the citizens 



136 



The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 



that he did not have to wait long for orders. In this 
city he remained for a year or more painting some of 
the prominent families of the .place. Among his patrons 
were the Bullocks and Joyeses, which portraits are yet in 
the possession of the respective families. The best 
example of his skill in child portraiture, in which he was 
peculiarly happy, is a three-quarter-length figure of Mr. 
Patrick Joyes when but nine years of age, which is now 
in the possession of the original. 

From Louisville he went to Frankfort, Kentucky, and 
was there engaged in painting for several months. His 
work was so much in demand in that part of the State 
that he was invited by the late Reverend R. J. Breck- 
inridge, then pastor of Mount Horeb Church, in Fayette 
County, to paint his portrait and the members of his 
family. After this commission was completed he was 
engaged to paint the portraits of Mr. David Castleman 
and family in the same neighborhood, and among the 
number was a portrait of General John B. Castleman 
when a child. 

The desire of the prosperous farmers of this beautiful 
bluegrass section to possess the work of this artist almost 
assumed the proportions of an epidemic, and it was with 
some impatience that the neighboring planters waited 
their turn to secure his services. When he received an 







REVEREND WILLIAM L. BRECKINRIDGE, D. D. 



Painted by Louis Morgan. 



Louis Morgan *37 

order he would go to the residence of the one to be 
put on canvas, and never was in haste to get through 
with his commission ; he would labor for weeks on the 
subject, and, if it did not suit him, would cast the 
production aside and begin again. This would often 
be repeated several times before he was satisfied with 
the result. 

Hope was an important factor in the mental structure 
of Morgan. It was not only a support to him in failure 
but a stimulus to greater efforts an ignis fatuus that 
led him through a slough of disappointments. On meet- 
ing him on Main Street, in Lexington, Kentucky, on one 
occasion just as he had purchased a supply of brushes, 
he remarked to the author after his usual cordial saluta- 
tion : "Price, I hold in my hand instruments to immortal 
fame." While this faculty of mind was a controlling 
factor in his profession, it failed in a love affair which 
will appear later on. 

As he was a fine conversationalist, genial and easy in 
manner, it was regarded as a privilege to have him in 
the home. This peculiar disposition was made more 
manifest when employed to paint the family of Mrs. 

D , a widow, who lived on her farm in the vicinity 

of Mount Horeb Church. Morgan was two or three 
years in the execution of six or seven portraits. This 



The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

tardiness was perhaps attributable to his having fallen a 
victim to the charms of one of her daughters just emerged 
from her teens, rather than to fastidiousness on his part 
in the treatment of his work. When it became her turn 
to sit for the young and accomplished artist he required 
more sittings than usual, and each sitting was more pro- 
tracted than was necessary in the painting of the other 
members of the family. Being unsuccessful in satisfac- 
torily portraying on canvas the beauty of her face after 
many days' sittings, he would take up a new canvas and 
begin the work over again, to the great weariness of his 
subject. So much did he become enamored of Miss 
D - that he began to be suspicious of the designs 
of her other male admirers for she had many and it 
so excited his jealousy that he would hardl}- treat them 
with common civility when in their company. He was 
not slow to express to her his suspicions and disapproval 
of the favor shown to his rivals. This finally became 
intolerable to the young lady when on one occasion he 
remonstrated with much emphasis in regard to the favor 
given to a young gentleman who was successful in win- 
ning her hand. She firmly resented his interference, 
which resulted in his departure from her home, even in 
his leaving Kentucky for his brother's farm in Mont- 
gomery County, Tennessee. 






Louis Morgan i39 

To his credit it may be said that his disappointment 
in not winning the much-coveted prize did not cause him 
to inflict corporal punishment on his successful rival, as 
did his sitter, Simon Kenton, to his competitor in a court- 
ship before he fled for the wilds of Kentucky. But he 
was less philosophical in the rejection, for, if rumor is to 
be relied upon, in a short time after he arrived in Mont- 
gomery County, Tennessee, he died of a broken heart, 
and was buried on his brother's farm. This was in the 
fall of 1852. 

The verses by Sir Walter Scott, written after his 
failure to secure the hand of Lady Wilhelmina Stewart 
Forbes, might be applicable to poor Morgan : 

Toll the bell ; greatness is o'er ; 
The heart is broke to ache no more. 
An unsubstantial pageant all ! 
Drop o'er the scene the funeral pall. 

Other examples might be given where bachelor artists 
had similar experiences to that of Morgan but had the 
manhood to brave their disappointment. Sir Joshua 
Reynolds was the champion of Angelica Kaufman even 
after he was a rejected suitor. Then the love experiences 
of Michael Angelo might be given as a striking example 
of heroic resignation. In the failure to win the heart of 
the noble and beautiful Princess Vittoria Colonna he was 



140 



The Old Masters of the Blmgrass 



not driven into the slough of despond, but found solace 
in the fact of her loyalty to the memory of her much- 
lamented husband, which proved a barrier against the 
importunities of other lovers. 

Morgan might truly be said to have been a child 
of nature, and no living artist was more thoroughly 
original ; the inspiration is all his own. He was almost 
a self-taught painter, followed no master and led no 
school. 

As in other professions such geniuses owe their suc- 
cess in their respective callings to their own unaided 
study, so many examples in art might be given of 
this fact here in America. Among the most striking 
illustrations of artists who rose to great prominence are 
Charles Elliott, of New York City, a portrait painter, 
and in landscape painting, L. F. Church, of the same 
city, who still lives; "the painter of those strange com- 
positions where the birds of the air and the beasts of 
the field bow to the spell of some pure and graceful 
type of maidenhood. " 

Raphael and Michael Angelo rose superior to their 
opportunities and environments, in that their individu- 
ality was preserved. Ruskin's advice to art students 
when visiting Rome was not to copy Raphael, but to 
study what he had studied. To this excellent advice 



Loiiis Morgan 

might be supplemented admonitions to the student not 
to substitute for his own style, if one is formed, that 
of another, however superior to his own, for so doing 
will be at the expense of freedom of touch and a 
sacrifice of characteristic treatment. The writer could 
mention three Kentucky artists whose canvases after 
their return from their study abroad painfully revealed 
a retrogression on this account. That self-taught painters 
have risen to distinction is not an argument against 
art academies, any more than it is against institutions 
of learning that Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Moody, 
one a statesman and the other an evangelist, rose to 
distinction independent of collegiate training. Art acad- 
emies have their advantages, in as much as they give 
the experience of the teacher in methods which, without 
instruction, the student would have to acquire by 
experiment ; thereby treading over the same path their 
preceptor had traveled, besides the advantages of con- 
tact with other students, and the consequent rivalry 
which should not be undervalued. 

Morgan, like Elliott and Church, had a wonderful 
instinctive knowledge of the complement of colors and 
their relative values, consequently a perfect balance was 
preserved, however opposite were the pigments. By 
this means harmony was always maintained, resulting in 



142 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

perfect tone. This power enabled him to give a strong 
and vigorous touch with a loaded brush. His natural 
feeling for color not infrequently proved a detriment to 
good drawing ; for, having accomplished a pleasing effect 
in color, he would not correct bad drawing lest the 
harmony and transparency of the coloring be impaired. 
Had he had the advantages of early training at the best 
art schools, he would have been taught that correct 
drawing was of primary importance. The majority of 
Morgan's heads, however, show that he was by no 
means a deficient draftsman. He would sit down to 
his easel at the beginning of each day's work with no 
set palette, preferring to make the combination of color 
suggested by nature. His manipulation of pigments and 
the application of them to canvas was largely a matter 
of inspiration. He was hardly ever able to give an 
intelligent answer when asked how he produced a 
certain happy effect of color. 

When asked on one occasion by a young mechanical 
portrait painter how he produced a very pleasing result 
of color in a picture just completed, his characteristic 
but laconic reply was : ' ' Linseed oil and brains, sir. " 
To this would - be painter Morgan, on a subsequent 
occasion, gave an object-lesson to show that material 
had but little value when one possessed not the 



Louis Morgan 

knowledge of its application. This was when he joined 
Morgan and the writer one summer afternoon at Lex- 
ington, Kentucky, in a walk. After the young painter 
had eloquently discussed the merits of palettes to the 
disgust of Morgan, the latter took the brush from the 
hands of an old colored man, who was engaged in 
whitewashing a solid plank fence, and, dipping it into 
the bucket of whitewash, applied it to that part of the 
fence which the darky had not touched, and in a short 
time produced a picture of a water mill and dam. 
Having accomplished his work, he took hold of the 
young man (who was of diminutive size) by the coat 
collar, and, jerking him back about ten or twelve feet, 
asked him: "What is that, sir?" The reply was: 
"Mill and mill dam." Then the painter replied: 
' ' Do n't say any thing more to me about the setting 
of palettes." Had the young interrogator been encour- 
aged to ask other questions, he would have perhaps 
inquired of Morgan how he was enabled, in his breadth of 
treatment, to give at the same time the detail necessary 
to perfect modeling which his pictures always possessed. 
It is related of Michael Angelo that on an especial 
occasion, when discussing art with a few Florentine 
friends, he remarked that the hand of genius was not 
dependent on the quality of material used in the 



144 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

production of the work of art. The earth being at 
this time covered with snow, the great sculptor pro- 
posed to demonstrate the truth of his declaration by 
erecting a colossal statue in the court - yard of his 
friend, Buonarroti using snow as his material. The 
work was, with great energy, at once begun, and in 
an incredibly short time was completed. Scarcely had 
the finishing touches been given when the inhabitants 
of Florence flocked to behold this novel but masterly 
creation. Though a ' ' thing of beauty, " it could not 
be called a ' ' joy forever, " for after the third day its 
symmetrical proportions were compelled to yield to the 
soluble influences without. 

In personal appearance the subject of this sketch 
bore a striking resemblance to the late Judge Aaron 
K. Woolley, a leading member of the Lexington bar. 
He was as erect, though slightly taller, and a few 
pounds heavier ; his complexion and eyes being dark, 
and his hair black and long. His demeanor, like Judge 
Woolley 's, was dignified and his movements graceful. 

May the plowshare of the husbandman never make 
level the mound beneath which the ashes of Morgan 
lie, lest the hand of affection and esteem may not be 
able to know the spot where to occasionally drop a 
flower, is the sincere prayer of the author. 



JOEL T. HART 



INTRODUCTION 



THE morning of the fourteenth of May, 1897, was a 
sad day for the citizens of Lexington, Kentucky, 
because of the burning of their costly court- 
house. And, indeed, for our whole country, when the 
lifework of Joel T. Hart, "Woman Triumphant," 
succumbed to the merciless elements fire and water. 
At the moment when the startling cry, ' ' The court- 
house is burning ! " was given, Mr. Edmond Shelby 
had finished reading to the writer a chapter of 
romance from the life of Hart. The first impulse 
of the listener was to exclaim, ' ' Oh, that statue ! " 
In the estimation of the public the destruction of 
invaluable records was of secondary importance to the 
loss of this beautiful art treasure, and but for the 
belief that the original mould of the model had been 
preserved their grief would have been irreconcilable. 

The association of ladies at Lexington, Kentucky, 
whose President was Mrs. W. C. P. Breckinridge (nee 
Desha), deceased, purchased for the small sum of five 



1 48 Introduction 

thousand dollars from Tiffany & Company, of New York, 
his last and great composition, for which the sculptor 
himself had refused twenty thousand dollars while it 
was yet in clay. But, unfortunately, he died before 
giving the finishing touches to his model, and, in 
consequence, the completion of it was left to Saul, 
an English sculptor, who was his pupil and executor. 

It is of doubtful propriety that the Temple of Justice 
was in the first place chosen for the permanent abode of 
this priceless production. To have made it appropriate, 
a statue of the Goddess of Justice, its complement, 
should have been placed near it in order to combine 
the twin qualities, love and justice the two great 
attributes of man's divine Creator. 

Mrs. Eliza B. Woodward, one of Lexington's oldest 
and most honored residents, recently deceased, so 
admired and valued this statue that she objected to 
its being placed in the court-house, and, in her large- 
hearted philanthropy, offered to build a fire - proof annex 
to the City Library, which offer was unfortunately not 
accepted. 




JOEL T. HART. 



Photographed from life. 



JOEL T. HART 



GENIUS, impelled by the motor power of ambition, 
overcomes all difficulties in its progress, as the 
locomotive impelled by steam power overcomes 
with lightning speed the natural laws of resistance, 
friction, and gravitation. Thus it was with Hart as he 
scaled alone and unaided the rugged heights of art. 

The true saying that a poet is born, not made, is 
applicable to the sculptor, and not a more striking 
example of this truth could be found than the subject 
of this sketch. Born and reared in the primitive days 
of his State, and not many years after it had emerged 
from its swaddling - clothes, his native genius began to 
assert itself, and without instruction and without art 
surroundings he overcame all obstacles, reaching the 
highest prominence in his profession, not surpassed by 
the Grecian or the Roman sculptors of the ancient, the 
medieval, or the modern age. 

Joel Tanner Hart was born in Clark County, Ken- 
tucky, not far from Winchester, on the tenth day of 

' Read before The Filson Club, June 7, 1897. 



1 50 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

February, 1810. His father, Josiah Hart, a pioneer 
of Kentucky, began life as a civil surveyor, in which 
occupation he attained great proficiency, and found it 
to be fairly remunerative, and on account of his high 
character, integrity, sobriety, and intelligence great con- 
fidence was placed in him by his associates. He 
assisted in the erection of one of the block - houses built 
to resist the incursions of the Indians ; he constructed 
the first flatboat for the transportation of the produce 
of the farmers in his part of the State ; but his most 
important work consisted in aiding to construct the iron- 
works on Slate Creek. 

Josiah Hart received from his father eight hundred 
acres of land, embracing the present site of Winchester 
and lying north of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, 
awarded him for military service. Owing to his over- 
confidence in the integrity of an agent who superintended 
the shipment of produce to New Orleans, he was soon 
brought to financial ruin. 

The adversity of fortune made it impossible for the 
parents of Joel to give him a liberal education. The 
advantage of three months' schooling was all he obtained, 
but at night he diligently studied the English rudiments, 
assisted by his brothers, who had previously acquired a 
scholastic education. So great was his progress that 



Joel T. Hart 15' 

before he had emerged from his teens he was enabled 
to teach grammar, rhetoric, and mathematics. 

Judith Tanner, the mother of Joel, had great strength 
of mind and the best mental training her opportunities 
afforded, and, withal, deep piety. She sustained the noble 
qualities of her Virginia ancestors. As an instance of 
her strength of character and Christian conscientiousness, 
she would not retain in servitude the slaves inherited 
from her mother. These sterling attributes were imme- 
diately traceable to her mother, who, on account of her 
dignity of deportment, was known by the sobriquet of 
"Lady Tanner." It is not to be wondered at, then, 
that the gifted son of Judith Tanner should commence 
his career with a proper impulse of his duty toward 
God and his fellow - men. 

His proclivities for sculpture were early developed. 
When at the age of five or six he would occupy parts 
of each day in modeling with his fingers animals in 
clay, and, for one of his age, succeeded astonishingly 
well in giving the anatomy of a horse. So alluring 
was this occupation to him that his boy companions 
could scarcely get him to join them in games of 
marbles or ball. Later on he moulded a button out 
of pewter ; following this, he cut and carved in wood 
a beautiful rolling-pin, which is still treasured in his 



i5 2 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

brother's family. This course was pursued until he 
was sufficiently grown to help provide subsistence for 
the family, especially as it was necessary, since his 
father had been rendered a cripple by a fall. A 
neighbor of his father, Philip B. Winn, an architect 
by profession, gave young Hart access to his works on 
architecture and sculpture, the study of which stimu- 
lated his ambition to become a sculptor. Not being 
able to find lucrative employment in his own county, 
he went to Bourbon County in search of work. He 
was there employed in building stone fences and chim- 
neys ; his nights were spent in reading books which 
he borrowed from the farmers who employed him. 

When he had reached his majority he left Bourbon 
County for Lexington, where he found employment in 
Pruden's marble -yard. This occupation was more after 
his taste, as it was a step to a higher work in art. 
His skill with the chisel and mallet was soon recognized 
by his employer, and in consequence he was assigned 
to the ornamentation of headstones and monuments. 
While thus engaged good fortune seemed to smile upon 
him, as he was thus afforded an opportunity for the 
first time of forming the acquaintance of a young 
sculptor, who was two years his junior. This person 
was Schobal Vail Clevenger, of Cincinnati, whose mission 



Joel T. Hart i53 

to Lexington was to model a bust of the Honorable 
Henry Clay. The progress of this work Hart was 
permitted to witness, and so delighted was he with 
the performance that, with the encouragement given 
him by the visiting sculptor, he determined to under- 
take to model in clay a bust from life. He chose for 
his subject General Cassius M. Clay, who afterward 
became a courageous champion of human liberty. Mr. 
Clay, desiring to encourage this would - be sculptor, 
cheerfully consented to give him the necessary sittings. 
This maiden effort of Hart was quite a success, as 
it elicited high and flattering criticisms from Oliver 
Frazer, the noted portrait painter, and his life - long 
friend, Mr. John S. Wilson, the Lexington druggist. 
It proved an epoch in the art circle of Lexington 
because of its novelty. Connoisseurs were made to 
realize that sculptors as well as painters could be 
produced in the Bluegrass region. Even the unculti- 
vated in plastic art beheld this work with wonder and 
admiration, as they believed it to be a greater achieve- 
ment to chisel the head and features in marble than 
to portray them on canvas, ignorant of the fact that 
greater skill is necessary in the painting of a face and 
figure, as it combines not only form and coloring, 
but lineal and aerial perspective. In sculpture, form, 



154 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

proportion, and character are the only essential qualifi- 
cations. This, however, is not a detraction from the 
merits of a sculptor, for he must not only observe 
form, but must give softness to the flesh and expression 
to the features. Hart fully appreciated this, as his first 
effort fully testifies. The bust of Clay displayed a high 
degree of excellence in art which is attained by others 
only after years of experience. 

Desirous of perpetuating in marble the features of 
General Andrew Jackson, the hero of the Battle of 
New Orleans, he visited the Hermitage and obtained the 
consent of the General for the required sittings. This 
work so much pleased his sitter that he commissioned 
the sculptor to execute it in marble at a remunerative 
price. On returning to Lexington he modeled in clay 
a bust of Honorable John J. Crittenden ; following this, 
one of Mr. Robert Wickliffe. His next work was that 
of Reverend Alexander Campbell, the great divine. 

Impressed with the importance of seeing the works 
of older sculptors, he visited Philadelphia, then an art 
center of this country, taking with him the bust of 
General Cassius M. Clay. This he hoped to place on 
exhibition in the National Academy of Design, but, to 
his disappointment, he ascertained that it was too late 
for the annual exhibition. However, Mr. Sartain, the 




HART'S STATUE OF HENRY CLAY. 



Joel T. Hart '55 

publisher of Sartain's Magazine, obtained the consent 
of the managers of the exhibition to give it a place, 
as he considered it a very meritorious work. The 
publisher's representation of the merits of the bust the 
artists considered not overrated ; they pronounced it a 
work that would not be discreditable to the best modern 
sculptors of that day. After remaining in Philadelphia 
a few weeks, he visited Washington City, New York, 
Baltimore, and Richmond, Virginia. After his return 
to Lexington, in a letter to his brother he mentions 
having ' ' met a host of distinguished men and of having 
received attention enough to last him a lifetime." His 
reputation was now so extended that he gained easy 
access to the prominent men in art, literature, and 
politics. He visited President Polk, who showed him 
much kindness, and his acquaintance with President 
John Q. Adams, who was conversant with both litera- 
ture and art, Hart often spoke of with pride. 

While in Richmond he was commissioned by the 
admirers of Clay to produce a full - length statue of the 
Sage of Ashland. The stipulations were that he was 
to receive for the work five thousand dollars, to be paid 
in installments five hundred dollars on demand, one 
thousand when he sailed for Italy, and the remainder 
when the work should be completed. 



i5 6 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

In order to facilitate his work and to secure the 
greatest accuracy, he employed a leading daguerreotypist 
of Cincinnati to daguerreotype Clay from every point 
of view ; he made accurate measurements of his figure ; 
in addition to this, he made casts of the face and dif- 
ferent parts of the body. Provided with the material 
necessary, he began his model in clay, having the original 
to sit from day to day until the work was completed. 
After the completion of his model he made plaster 
moulds of the figure in sections. To better accomplish 
the work in marble, he felt it necessary to visit Italy, 
but was disappointed in starting on his journey as soon 
as he had hoped. It was not until September, 1849, 
that he set sail for the Old World. After visiting 
Rome and Florence he concluded to locate at the latter 
place, as he considered it to have superior advantages. 
On applying for his passports he was informed by Mr. 
Clayton, Secretary of State under President Taylor, that 
if he had called ten days sooner he would have been 
appointed Consul at Rome. This compliment, while he 
fully appreciated it, he would have, however, declined 
had it been offered him in time, as he did not consider 
Rome would have furnished him with the opportunity 
of executing his work equal to that of Florence. Then, 
besides, he wished to give his undivided attention to 



Joel T. Hart i57 

his profession. While the frescoes in the Vatican and 
Sistine Chapel, by Raphael and Michael Angelo, gave 
Hart the keenest pleasure, it was with rapturous delight 
and astonishment that he beheld the works in marble 
of Michael Angelo. It was truly a revelation to him 
that his conception of perfection in sculpture fell short 
of the standard. This was much to his discomfiture, 
for his path up to this time had been comparatively 
smooth, but now it had become more rugged ; there- 
fore, would he not be compelled to redouble his energies 
to reach the point that the few who had lived in the 
several centuries before had scaled ? Confidence in his 
power of application proved impervious to any discourage- 
ment. Then, too, he had about him the exhilaration 
of rivalry. He took with him letters of introduction 
to prominent persons in Italy, but on account of his 
innate diffidence he failed to present them. Among the 
letters was one from a Cincinnati friend to the head of 
the old and noble family of Torrejano, who was himself a 
gentleman of culture and refinement. Torrejano, having 
heard that Hart was in Florence pursuing his studies, 
promptly called on him and proffered his services. This 
newly-made friend, on learning that he was pecuniarily em- 
barrassed on account of not receiving the expected remit- 
tance from home, voluntarily advanced him material aid. 



158 The Old Masters of the Bluegr ass 

Feeling the importance of a more thorough educa- 
tion in anatomy, which study he had begun in the 
Medical College of Transylvania University, at Lexing- 
ton, Kentucky, he thought that, before beginning the 
work which he came to execute, it would be well for 
him to further pursue this study. Therefore he went 
to London and spent fourteen months in the best medi- 
cal college of that city. Before returning to Florence 
he visited Paris and carefully studied the old masters 
in the Louvre, and also the works of the modern 
painters. On his return to Florence he heard the sad 
news that the model of his statue of Clay, which he 
had so carefully packed for shipment, was lost at sea. 
He would have been in utter despair at this misfortune 
had it not been for the knowledge that there was still 
a duplicate at Lexington. This he at once ordered 
to be shipped to him, but a year elapsed before he 
received it. 

In addition to this misfortune he had an attack of 
cholera, and, after recovering from this dreadful disease, 
he contracted typhoid fever. These maladies so depleted 
his vital energies that it was a long time before he 
regained his normal strength. In addition to his long 
illness, his exchequer was correspondingly reduced to the 
lowest ebb. This was due to the failure of the Virginia 



Joel T. Hart 159 

society to send him the second installment of one 
thousand dollars. But for the orders obtained for busts 
he would have found it impossible to remain abroad. 
Among these orders was that of ex - President Fillmore. 
During his long illness and prostration from its effects, 
his mind, however, had not been idle. It was busily 
employed on an invention which he hoped would facil- 
itate the process of modeling the human form and 
thereby bring him large pecuniary returns by its sale. 
He wrote to his brother Thomas concerning this machine, 
in 1857, as follows: "The sculptor, Powers, and the 
rest of them in general, hate it like the devil, however 
friendly they would appear towards myself, because they 
see I can do three times as much work by its appli- 
cation as any one of them can do, and more perfectly ; 
but the whole troupe in all this time have failed to 
break me down. Their influence was so strong, how- 
ever, that during three years I got but one bust to 
make, and have not yet received a cent of the five 
hundred dollars I am to be paid for it." In further 
defense of the practical use of this ingenious invention 
in sculpture, it may be said that its propriety is as 
reasonable as the mechanical means used by many of 
the best painters in the outlining of the head and 
figure, in the duplication of a portrait painted by them- 



i6o The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

selves or by other artists (this is done by means of 
transparent paper prepared for the purpose ), or, when 
painting a head from life, to enlarge the features por- 
trayed by a negative, when thrown upon canvas, to life- 
size by the use of the solar camera, and then traced 
by the artist. The sculptor or painter should not be 
denied all credit, as he has to give the life - like expres- 
sion which the hand of genius only can accomplish. 
This invention was intended by its author principally 
to assist the artisan in duplicating in marble the model- 
ing in clay by the sculptor as the stone-cutter's work 
is purely mechanical thereby securing, as Mr. Hart 
has stated, a more perfect copy, the sculptor only having 
to give to the cold marble the breath of life. In a 
subsequent letter to his brother he said that he "did 
not care for the money, but had his reward in the 
satisfaction of knowing that he had benefited humanity, 
in that he could copy the bust executed by the best of 
ancient sculptors with comparatively little labor, thereby 
putting it in the power of persons of moderate means 
to purchase it." His unselfish motive, which was so 
characteristic of him, was to disseminate a greater love 
for art. He claimed that with this instrument he could 
complete a bust in from three to six days. He devoted 
much time in having his invention copyrighted in Great 



Joel T. Hart 161 

Britain and France and the other leading countries of 
Europe. On account of flattering notices in the London 
press he secured commissions for marble busts of ten of 
the most prominent citizens of London, for five hundred 
dollars each. 

James Jaques Jarvis, of Boston, has written quite a 
readable book on " The Art Idea, " in which he takes 
occasion to refer to this invention of Hart's and to say : 
"As a machine to reduce sculpture to an external 
accuracy of lines and dots this indeed may give the 
crust of mind, but feeling and thought depend upon the 
artist himself. No machine can compensate for their 
absence. " 

The statue of Clay which his friends authorized Hart 
to execute was not completed until the year 1859. It 
was then shipped to Richmond, and now stands under 
canopy in the Capitol grounds. It received high com- 
mendations from the artists and sculptors of this country 
and gave satisfaction to the friends of the great original, 
as it was his perfect counterpart. However, it was a 
target for the higher critics in art on account of its 
being represented in the dress of the modern age. The 
vestment should have been like that represented by the 
Greek and Roman sculptors of old. The critics had 
in mind the statues executed by Phidias, Praxiteles, 



1 62 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

and Scopas, and the dress worn in their age. A depart- 
ure from this, in their estimation, was a sacrilege. To 
have thus draped his statue would not have been sat- 
isfactory to the friends of the great Commoner, as they 
would not have been willing to sacrifice resemblance 
to classical excellence. A like condemnation is that of 
modern painters in representing biblical and historical 
events of ancient days. A striking example is that of 
Jacob meeting Rachel at the well, painted by Giorgione, 
and the Prodigal Son, executed by Du Buff. Each of 
the figures in these paintings is represented in modern 
dress. Such anachronism is a liberty that is inexcusable. 
Much more reprehensible was the artist who, in his 
painting of the Last Supper, represented a goblet filled 
with cigar - lighters placed next to the figure of the 
Apostle Peter. 

Hart came to America to be present at the unveil- 
ing of the statue of Clay. The eight months that he 
remained in this country made him appreciate the more 
the friendship and admiration of his host of friends. 
Soon after his arrival at Lexington its citizens gave 
him a banquet at the old Broadway Hotel. 

He had purposed to open a studio in New York City, 
but on receiving an order from Louisville for a statue of 
Clay he concluded to return to Florence to execute the 






t 
s 
hi 



bu 
Ch 




"WOMAN TRIUMPHANT." 

Sculptured by Joel T. Hart. 



Joel T. Hart 163 

work, for which he was to receive ten thousand dollars. 
After the completion of this mission he resolved to return 
and permanently remain in America. The friends and 
admirers of Clay, in New Orleans, not willing to be out- 
done in their appreciation and loyalty to Kentucky's 
great statesman, contracted with Mr. Hart for a copy of 
the statue. 

The proceeds of the three statues placed the sculptor 
in comfortable circumstances, in so much as to enable 
him to embody in clay a conception which was the dream 
and ambition of thirty years or more. It was to repre- 
sent woman triumphant taking the American woman as 
the type of beauty, of intelligence, and of symmetry of 
form. His reputation in America and abroad in por- 
traiture did not satisfy him. Conscious that he had not 
reached the highest niche of fame that had been attained 
by sculptors of previous ages, he realized that he must 
give full scope to his creative powers ; but in beginning 
his work he was confronted at the very threshold with 
difficulties on account of not being able to secure a suit- 
able model for his purpose. 

Although there were not a few Trilbys in Florence, 
not one could he find who embodied his ideal of per- 
fection of form. In consequence, he had to combine the 
best qualities from various models. The feet, as well as 



1 64 The Old Masters of the Bhiegrass 

the face and bust, he modeled after a Lexington woman 
prominent in society. The arms and hands were modeled 
after those of Miss Fannie Gilispie, of Midway, now Mrs. 
Robert Stout, of Versailles. 

To better aid him in his work he made casts of the 
limbs and other portions of the body from several models. 
In a letter to Mr. Clay he thus describes his conception : 
' ' I gratified my passion in modeling a life - ideal virgin 
and child in a group not a Christian virgin and child, 
however. The figures are nude Beauty's Triumph. 
She being assailed by Cupid, rests her left foot on his 
exhausted quiver, and holds his last arrow in triumph, 
for which he pleads, tiptoeing, reaching after it. It gives 
the most graceful and finest possible attitude, both in the 
woman and the boy. The idea is modern and my own." 

It is described by a Kentuckian who saw it at Florence 
in 1871 as "a group of two figures only a perfect 
woman and a charming Cupid. Love, in the shape of 
Cupid, has assailed the fair one, has shot arrow after 
arrow, all of which are broken and have fallen at her 
feet. His quiver is exhausted, the last shaft has failed 
of the mark, and this splendid woman has caught the 
barbed arrow, and with her left hand has raised it above 
her head out of reach of the villainous little tempter, who 
struggles hopelessly on tiptoe to regain it. The compo- 



Joel T. Hart 165 

sition tells its own story. Virtue is assailed, reason is 
brought to bear, and all attacks are harmless. It is 
indeed woman's triumph the triumph of chastity." 

The artist, like the bookmaker, does not decide on 
a title for his composition until the work is completed. 
To choose an appropriate and significant name is of no 
small importance. No one realized this more than did 
Mr. Hart. He first intended to entitle his great compo- 
sition "The Triumph of Chastity," but on maturer thought 
he concluded to name it "Woman Triumphant." To 
have adopted the former would have called in question 
the purity of the motive of Cupid in his furious assault 
on his would - be victim. The sculptor knew full well 
that this incorrigible marksman, when he lets fly his 
arrow, never intends to inflict a poisonous wound. Thus 
naming it is a commentary on his own refined nature as 
well as a tribute to womanly virtue. 

The art correspondent of the London Athenaeum, at 
Florence, a paper of recognized authority in art matters, 
said in 1871 that he "considered it the finest work in 
existence, and that in 1868 he had begged Hart to finish 
it at once, but he would not ; each year it grew more 
beautiful, and he now feared to urge its completion 
against the artist's better judgment." Other art corre- 
spondents of London journals years ago pronounced it 



1 66 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

the work of modern times, and other writers all agree 
as to its perfection. 

A friend, on seeing Hart taking from and adding to 
different parts of the figure, expressed surprise that 
he did not ' ' let well enough alone, " for to his less 
cultivated eye it appeared to be already perfect. He 
remonstrated with the sculptor for consuming so many 
years in the execution of this work, to which the artist 
characteristically responded : ' ' Why, my friend, it takes 
God Almighty eighteen or twenty years to make a perfect 
woman ; then why should you expect me to finish one in 
less time ? " 

An artist, as a means of diversion, is often engaged in 
other creations. Hart, for this reason, produced several 
ideal pieces entitled "Angelina" and "II Penseroso. " 
Another is a figure of a child examining a nosegay while 
she grasps with her other hand her apron filled with 
blossoms. These productions are very highly compli- 
mented by the press, both for their poetical sentiment 
and artistic execution. 

The sweet and melodious notes he drew from his flute 
were a source of pleasure not only to himself but to 
others, although his manipulation of this musical instru- 
ment was less skillful than that shown in the handling of 
his modeling tools. 



Joel T. Hart 167 

At a dinner given in Florence by the American resi- 
dents in honor of William Cullen Bryant, Hart was one 
of the honored guests and read a poem, by request, 
which he had prepared for the occasion. The portion of 
the poem that is preserved is as follows : 

Shall I be mute while here my country's pride, 
Her youth, her beauty, and her manhood throng 
This treasure house, its portals opened wide, 
Where I and some proud names have toiled so long, 
And see to-day my country's sire of song 
Crowned with his snowy splendors laurels won 
Moulding the veteran's heart ! 

Thrice welcome to these shores, great bard, who sang 
The song of "God's First Temples" with the fire 
Of Freedom could her spirits list thy tongue 
Some rapt " Evangeline " would hush her choir 
And Alfieri throw around his lyre 
The starry flag, prophetic of his own. 
While, listening, Dante's spirit would aspire. 

On the second day of March, 1877, he was called to 
lay down his chisel and mallet to return to the clay of 
which his own body, animated with the breath of life, 
was formed by the hand of the Great Creator. His body 
was laid to rest by loving friends in the beautiful city of 
Florence. 



1 68 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

By indefatigable efforts Mr. Thomas G. Stuart, member 
of the legislature from Clark County in 1884, obtained 
an appropriation of twelve hundred dollars for the removal 
of the remains to Frankfort, Kentucky. On their arrival 
at Frankfort they were placed in the receiving vault in 
the beautiful and picturesque cemetery. Governor Knott 
appointed the eighth of June, 1887, for the interment of 
the remains. He requested Mr. Robert Burns Wilson, 
the distinguished poet and artist of Frankfort, and Hon- 
orable William M. Beckner, an eminent and representative 
citizen of Hart's native county, to deliver memorial 
addresses, and Mrs. Rosa Vertner Jeffrey, the gifted 
poetess of Lexington, to prepare and read an appro- 
priate poem on the occasion. 

Cards were sent to the relatives and intimate friends 
of the dead artist as far as they were known or could 
be ascertained by the Governor, and a general invitation 
was issued to the people of Kentucky to be present. 

F. W. Houston, of Bourbon ; John S. Wilson, of 
Fayette ; General C. M. Clay, of Madison ; Honorable 
James Flanagan, of Clark ; Lieutenant Governor James 
R. Hindman, of Adair ; Honorable James A. McKenzie, 
of Christian ; Colonel W. N. Haldeman, Daniel E. O'Sul- 
livan, Nicola Marschall, Carl Brenner, and R. J. Menefee, 
of Jefferson ; Colonel H. M. McCarty, of McCracken ; 



Joel T. Hart 169 

Doctor John D. Woods, of Warren ; Professor J. O. 
Hodges, of Fayette ; Chief Justice Pryor, Judge Lewis, 
Judge Holt, and Judge Bennett, of the Court of Appeals ; 
Judge Bowden, Judge Ward, and Judge Barbour, of the 
Superior Court ; Honorable Alvin Duvall, Honorable Will- 
iam Lindsay, General Scott Brown, General G. W. 
Lindsay, Judge P. U. Major, John L. Scott, Lawrence 
Tobin, Patrick McDonald, Colonel L. E. Harvie, Thomas 
Rodman, senior, Hiram Berry, Honorable W. P. D. Bush, 
Captain H. I. Todd, Honorable Thomas G. Stuart, and 
Honorable James F. Winn were appointed honorary pall- 
bearers, and the following programme arranged : 

PROGRAMME. 

Removal of Remains from Receiving Vault to Place of Interment, 

Escorted by the Military. 
Prayer by Reverend G. F. Bagby. 

Music by Frankfort Choir, led by Professor Wayland Graham. 
Address by Robert Burns Wilson. 

Music. 
Poem by Mrs. Rosa Vertner Jeffrey. 

Music. 

Address Upon the Life and Character of Joel T. Hart, 
by Honorable W. M. Beckner. 

Music. 
Benediction by Professor Joseph Desha Pickett. 

The programme was fully and imposingly carried out. 



1 70 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

A stone chimney, built by Hart in his junior years, 
yet stands in Bourbon County as a monument to his 
mechanical skill. Proud of his work and wishing that 
future generations might give him credit as a master 
workman, he carved his name at its base. As a fit com- 
panion - piece the State of Kentucky should erect, at a 
near future, a monument of solid granite in testimony of 
the higher achievements in art, and in large letters, not 
at the base but high up on the shaft, inscribe the name 
of Joel T. Hart. 

Hart's genius was not confined to modeling in clay. 
So ambitious was he to attain a reputation as a poet 
that, in his will, he expressed a desire that what he 
had written in verse should be compiled and published 
in book form. His literary compositions were placed, 
after his death, in the hands of Mr. H. C. Pindell, of 
Louisville, Kentucky, who died before the work was 
accomplished, and the manuscripts are still in the pos- 
session of his widow. The Polytechnic Society, of this 
city, has in its possession one of his machines for 
reducing marble into shape, a bundle of his manuscripts, 
and the models of his President Jackson, Alexander 
Campbell, and "The Morning Glory." 

While Hart himself had no preceptor in sculpture, 
he was ever willing to give instruction to all novices 



Joel T. Hart 171 

who might apply to him, particularly if they manifested 
unusual talent. 

His contemporary, Mr. Hiram Powers, said of him : 
"Hart is the best bust -maker in the world at his time." 
In his ideal production no less can be said of him. 
In originality of expression he was never surpassed. 
The beauty, intelligence, and purity portrayed in his 
female faces are unequaled, while even Hiram Powers' 
"Greek Slave," of the highest type of female beauty 
and symmetry of woman's form, is lacking in motive, 
therefore does not appeal to the sympathies of the 
beholder. The manacles which clasp the wrist are more 
expressive than the countenance. Then, her apparent 
indifference to her nudity, when the cynosure of all 
eyes, is unnatural. This criticism can not justly be made 
of Hart's great work, ' ' Woman Triumphant, " as her 
toying with Cupid is supposed not to be witnessed by 
spectators. Venus de Medici and Venus of Milo express 
the innate modesty peculiar to the pure and refined 
woman, as it is shown in the former by the graceful 
but deprecative position of her hands ; in the latter by 
extending the right hand as if in the effort to adjust 
her displaced garments. 

It is stated that an old countryman, with his wife 
and two grown daughters, made a visit to Cincinnati, 



1 7 2 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

and while there was advised by the landlord of his 
hotel to see the "Greek Slave," then on exhibition, 
before leaving for home. Hence, early next morning 
they repaired to the building containing the wonderful 
creation in marble. The ' ' Slave " stood where the 
reflection of the morning sun apparently transformed it, 
for the time, into living flesh, and the venerable farmer, 
on reaching the entrance in advance of his family, 
catching sight of it through the door, which stood ajar, 
hastily turning to his family exclaimed with uplifted 
hand : ' ' Go back ! we've come too early, for she ain't 
dressed yet. " 

In justice to Powers, in the representation of the 
"Greek Slave," it may be said that failure in giving 
expression to the face was no more a fault than is seen 
in the works of the ancient sculptors. Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, in his lecture on sculpture delivered to the 
members of the Royal Academy, on this point made 
the following observation: "The face bears so very 
inconsiderable a proportion to the effect of the whole 
figure that the ancient sculptors neglected to animate 
the features even with the general expression of the 
passions. Of this, the group of 'The Boxers' is a 
remarkable instance. They are engaged in the most 
animated action with the greatest serenity of counte- 



Joel T. Hart 173 

nance. I suspect it will be found, on close examination 
by him who is resolved not to see more than he really 
does see, that the figures are distinguished by their 
insignia more than by any variety of form or beauty. 
Take from Apollo his lyre, from Bacchus his thirsus 
and vine leaves, and from Meleager the boar's head, 
and there will remain little or no difference in their 
characters. In a Juno, Minerva, or Flora the idea of 
the artist seems to have gone no further than repre- 
senting perfect beauty and afterward adding the proper 
attributes, with a total indifference to which they gave 
them." As an exception to this general practice Mr. 
Reynolds should have mentioned the "Laocoon," for, 
in the admirable group of the father and the two sons, 
the agony is shown in the countenance as well as the 
contortions of the bodies caused by the embrace and 
fangs of the serpentine monster. 

Mr. Hart was a great reader, preferring the classics 
to modern fiction. A fine memory gave him ready 
command of the material stored away in his mind, 
and with great fluency he drew to him the cultured 
and those versed in both ancient and modern litera- 
ture. He was not less attractive to children, and 
delighted to entertain them with recitals from Mother 
Goose. 



1 74 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

Though an independent thinker, his views on any 
subject he would not press if contrary to the convic- 
tions of others. In religion he was an Universalist ; in 
politics, a Jacksonian Democrat. 

He was a typical Kentucky gentleman who bore him- 
self with singular grace and dignity his height being 
six feet and his weight a hundred and seventy - five 
pounds. His countenance showed strength of character ; 
his features were clear cut, and beneath a broad and 
projecting brow shone a pair of dark, piercing eyes. 

He lived and died a bachelor. That he did not marry, 
when woman was his inspiration and her presence a 
delight, was not because his responsive chords were 
wholly inflexible, for, if rumor is to be credited, he 
received in his early manhood a well - directed shot from 
the wily and matchless marksman whom he so delighted 
to portray in marble. 

In a word, he fell a victim to the charms of a Lex- 
ington beauty. The following account of this infatuation 
was written by Miss Mary M. Thixton, and appeared 
in the Courier - Journal, over her initials, May 24, 1896: 



Joel T. Hart i/5 

THE ROMANCE IN THE LIFE OF KENTUCKY'S GREAT 

SCULPTOR. 

DEATH OF MRS. JOSEPH R. SMITH RECALLS His ONLY LOVE 

THE STORY OF HER CONNECTION WITH His MASTERPIECE, 

"THE TRIUMPH OF CHASTITY." 

The death of Mrs. Joseph R. Smith, of Birmingham, Alabama, 
a few weeks ago, has recalled the romance in the life of Ken- 
tucky's great sculptor, Joel T. Hart. About ten years ago, 
when the "Triumph of Chastity" was brought to Kentucky 
through the endeavors of patriotic Lexington women, many 
stories were published that invested considerable romantic interest 
about the sculptor and his great lifework. The writer met Mrs. 
Joseph R. Smith, who was none other than the much-talked-of 
Mary Smithers, of Lexington, Kentucky, during a visit several 
years ago at her home, called Smithfield, one of the handsome 
suburban residences of Birmingham. In conversation reference 
was made to Joel T. Hart and his "Triumph of Chastity," and 
the report that she had been the sculptor's inspiration. She 
flushed up at once and replied : 

"A great injustice was done me. In one article I was 
charged with infidelity and with being too mercenary to fulfill 
my promises to become his wife. The truth is I was never 
engaged to be married to Mr. Hart. I was aware that he loved 
me, but so far as there ever having been any pledges of love or 
that I was ever betrothed to him, the statement is altogether 
unfounded, as I can prove to you by showing you some of Mr. 
Hart's letters." 

There the matter dropped ; the writer returned home without 
being able to see the original correspondence, until last week, 



1 76 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

on another visit to Birmingham, Doctor Joseph R. Smith, her 
huband, redeemed his wife's promise to furnish any information 
for the readers of the Courier-Journal that might vindicate her. 
Doctor Joseph R. Smith, it may be remarked, is among the 
most wealthy and courtly old gentlemen in the South. He is a 
native of Bessemer, a few miles from Birmingham, and was born 
in 1818. In 1854 he removed to Smithfield, his present home. 
Doctor Smith did not marry his late wife until 1876, although 
he met her in 1838, while a medical student in Lexington, Ken- 
tucky. After returning to his Southern home he married another. 
After her death his heart reverted to his former Lexington sweet- 
heart, and on inquiry he found her to be a widow, living in 
Missouri. He at once opened up correspondence with her, which 
culminated in their marriage in 1876. Doctor Smith's first wife 
left him with nine children, and so lovely in disposition was his 
second wife that they worshiped her. 

Doctor Smith's eyes moistened with tears as he pointed to her 
grave in the Elyton Cemetery, near the railroad that passes his 
door. Flowers, which were her passion, were blooming over 
the mound. "I buried her there," he remarked, "because I 
can see her grave and recall the loveliness of her character." 
Doctor Smith remembers Birmingham when all over its now busy 
precincts was a cotton-field. ' ' It was only a few years since the 
tall hills surrounding, called the fashionable South Highlands," he 
said, "were unclaimed lands that belonged to the Government." 

After arriving at his home, Doctor Smith took out an old 
box in which his wife held her dearest heart treasures. Within 
were letters of Joel T. Hart, the picture of her first husband, 
Doctor Kilpatrick, and the letters of Doctor Smith. 

Brushing aside a tear, he said: "This contains all her treas- 
ures. Some of the letters I have never read myself. This 



Joel T. Hart 177 

picture of Doctor Kilpatrick recalls her first love. My wife was 
beautiful in form and character as a young woman, and few men 
could know her and not love her. Her life seemed to be full 
of romance. When she was only sixteen she fell in love with 
Doctor Kilpatrick, who was attending college at Lexington in 
1836. They passed one another on the streets and fell in love 
at first sight. He sought out an introduction, and their acquaint- 
ance resulted in an engagement of marriage. The parents of 
Mary Smithers opposed the match and forbade the young man 
to come to the house. Before his departure for his home in 
Missouri, mutual friends gave a party, at which both were 
present. Her parents, hearing that their daughter would meet 
Doctor Kilpatrick at the party, drove up to the house to take 
her home. She was very greatly embarrassed, but to save her 
from publicity Doctor Kilpatrick escaped with her through the 
back door and conveyed her home. After his return home, his 
letters were intercepted and the two drifted apart. He was 
married to another, who lived only two years. Mary went out 
to Missouri to visit relatives, when Doctor Kilpatrick by chance 
learned that she was not far from him. He at once sought her 
out, and they were married within a few months." 

It was during these years that Joel T. Hart became deeply 
attached to her. In reading over his letters there is nothing to 
indicate that his affection was reciprocated, as she had already 
given her heart to Doctor Kilpatrick. Several of his letters are 
written in verse, a talent in which the sculptor placed more 
pride than in the art which won his fame. The following is an 
acrostic addressed to Mary : 



178 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 

Mary, dear Mary, thine emblem behold, 
Aurora's sweet blushes, midst gems of the sky, 
Refulgent ascending on chariot of gold, 
Youth lighting her cheek and heaven her eye. 

So may thy pure spirit to glory arise, 
Mount, like Aurora, till its genial ray 
In triumph returns to its home in the sky, 
To bask a bright seraph in splendor of day. 
Hither to greet thee, with starry crown'd head, 
Each friend of thy love and with angels to soar, 
Rolling, when the spheres with their music have fled, 
Sweet anthems, when sorrow and parting's no more. 

There is a very interesting letter written on the same sheet 
as one addressed to Mrs. Susan Hubbard. The latter was a 
sister to Mary, and it bears the date of June 22, 1848, Lexing- 
ton, Kentucky. Mr. Hart gives quite a vivid account of the 
home life of Mary's family, and judging from it he was an inti- 
mate friend who came and went as one of the household. He 
apologized to her for writing on a sheet of paper that had the 
names of his two friends in the corner, but it was the only piece 
of writing paper left. The friends had written their names there. 
One of them was George P. Jouett. The other name was that of 
M. Ponder, whom Hart pronounced the best stone-cutter he ever 
knew. Mary's mother had married a second time, and at that 
writing was Mrs. Gibbons. A step-brother, Judge Zack Gibbons, 
now resides in Lexington, and a brother, Mr. John Smithers, 
lives in St. Louis, as does her only child, Mr. Claude Kilpatrick. 

Another letter was written her from White Sulphur Springs, 
in 1845. In it Hart speaks of his going abroad, as the women 
of Richmond, Virginia, had subscribed about five thousand dol- 
lars toward a bust of Henry Clay, and had selected him to make 
it. It was in 1848 that arrangements were perfected for his 



Joel T. Hart 179 

going abroad. It was then that the mutual renunciation or 
abandonment of marriage between himself and Mary forced itself, 
because of his uncertain destiny. Among the faded letters was 
the following, which shows that the separation between them was 
a hard one, at least for him : 

Adieu, dear Mary, once adieu, 

My destined hour to part has come 
From those I love, my favorite few, 

My country and my home. 

As fortune's cold and stern decree 

Forbids me bow at virtue's shrine, 
To bow with bended knee, 

So were this bosom worthy thine. 

Be then some gallant breast thy guide 

Which all thy virtues may approve, 
For thine are worth such hero's pride 

And worthy of his love. 

A nobler offering this will be 

Than one can give destined to roam, 
Whose dwelling lies beyond the sea, 

Perhaps the waves his home. 

Yet, Mary, wilt thou breathe a prayer, 

And often greet my tender lay, 
That we may see each other there 

When I am far away. 

I'll think of thee, though mountains rise, 

And oceans wild between us roll ; 
I'll steal thine image from the skies, 

And stamp it in my soul. 

While hope shall light me over the main, 

Where'er I rove, whate'er pursue, 
And fondly whisper: "Meet again," 

Once more, sweet maid, adieu. 

J. T. H. 

LEXINGTON, November n, 1848. 



1 80 The Old Masters of the Bluegrass 



SUPPLEMENT WILL OF LATE JOEL T. HART. 

That part of the will which provides for the com- 
pletion of the statue has been published. The fourth 
section is as follows : 

I devise and bequeath to my personal friend, Henry C. 
Pindell, of Louisville, Kentucky, all my letters received from 
distinguished men, to be used if desired in a sketch of my life, 
together with all my manuscript poems, fables, and maxims in 
my studio. I also devise and bequeath to said Henry C. Pindell 
one of the two original plaster copies of my ideal group above 
mentioned, called "Woman Triumphant," but as there is a 
slight difference of treatment in these two original plaster 
copies, the one bequeathed to said Henry C. Pindell may be 
called No. i to distinguish it from No. 2, the difference of 
treatment being that in No. i the arm of Cupid is raised and 
in No. 2 the arm is down. I also devise and bequeath to him 
one copy in plaster of my ideal bust, and one in plaster of 
the "Morning Glory." These copies are to be reproduced as 
he may direct in marble, and sold by him to pay for printing 
and publishing one volume of my best poems from the manuscript 
heretofore mentioned as being in my studio, and be dedicated 
to my especial personal friend, Henry C. Pindell, of Louisville, 

Kentucky, by the author, Joel T. Hart, I also intrust 

to his charge my portrait -measuring inventions from the life, 
having two hundred steel needles, to be placed in some museum 
in the United States of America, where and when he may think 
proper, and also its tall iron column used in "pointing" my group 



Joel T. Hart 181 

with its two tripods, when the one or two groups mentioned in 
clause marked " first" shall have been completed. I further devise 
that my marble bust pointing invention, with its two cast iron 
plates, ebony marble shaft and two metal arms with quadrants 
and two needles each, be placed with the above named instru- 
ment with letters patent proving them to be my inventions, that 
they may be there preserved, and, if desired, to be copied free 
for the use of all sculptors, who desire higher perfection and 
greater speed. In case the said Henry C. Pindell should not 
accept the above bequests, then I devise that the name of R. J. 
Menefee, of Louisville, Kentucky, be substituted for that of said 
Henry C. Pindell. 



no. 17 



Fllson Club, Louisville, Ky. 
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